What to do with batteries? What parts are recycled?

Recycling batteries is a small gesture that can have a big positive impact on the environment. Do your part and help protect the planet!

Recycling batteries is important for several reasons:

Environmental Protection: Batteries contain toxic materials such as mercury, lead, cadmium and acid, which can leach into soil and water if disposed of incorrectly, causing significant environmental damage.

Avoid pollution: When thrown into regular trash, they can end up in landfills where toxic materials are gradually released, contaminating soil and groundwater.

Resource Conservation: By recycling them, valuable materials such as zinc, steel, nickel and other metals can be recovered, reducing the need to extract natural resources and minimizing the environmental impact of mining.

Prevention of health risks: Exposure to toxic metals present in batteries can be harmful to human and animal health. Recycling them prevents these hazardous materials from leaking into the environment and accumulating in the food chain.

The recycling process is quite simple and can be done in several ways:

1. Battery containers:

  • Look for specific containers for used batteries at:
    • electronic stores
    • Supermarkets
    • Real Estate Management
    • recycling centers
    • Some clean points

2. Clean points:

  • You can take them to a clean point, where they will be properly managed along with other special waste.

3. Selective collection:

  • Some municipalities offer a selective home collection service.

What is done with recycled batteries?

  • The batteries are transported to a specialized recycling plant.
  • There the different materials that make them up (metals, plastics, etc.) are separated.
  • Materials are recovered and reused to make new products.
  • Some components, such as mercury, are safely disposed of to avoid contaminating the environment.

Why is it important to recycle them?

  • Batteries contain contaminating materials such as mercury, lead and cadmium.
  • If thrown into regular trash, these materials can contaminate soil, water, and air.
  • Recycling batteries allows valuable materials to be recovered and reused, avoiding the need to extract more natural resources.
  • The amount of waste that goes to landfills is reduced dumps.

Tips for recycling them:

  • Do not throw batteries into normal trash.
  • Store used batteries in a suitable container until you can take them to a recycling point.
  • Do not mix alkaline with lithium.
  • If you have questions about how to recycle them, consult your town hall or a recycling point.

What battery components are reusable?

The reusable components are:

  • Metals:
    • Iron (Fe): Used in the manufacture of steel and other metal products.
    • Zinc (Zn): It is used in the manufacture of galvanized coatings, corrosion protectors, and in the metallurgical industry.
    • Manganese (Mn): It is used in the manufacture of alloys, batteries and fertilizers.
    • Nickel (Ni): Used in the manufacture of stainless steel, batteries and coins.
    • Lead (Pb): Used in the manufacture of batteries, bullets and radiation shields.
  • Plastics:
    • Polypropylene (PP): It is used in the manufacture of packaging, textiles and other products.
    • Polyethylene (PE): It is used in the manufacture of bags, bottles and other products.
    • Polycarbonate (PC): Used in the manufacture of CDs, DVDs and other products.
  • Other materials:
    • Graphite (C): Used in the manufacture of electrodes, pencils and other products.
    • Water (H2O): Used in the manufacture of some batteries.

It is important to note that the amount of reusable material that can be recovered from batteries depends on the type of battery and the recycling process used. In general, up to 75% of the materials can be recovered.

In addition to reusable components, they also contain components that are not reusable and must be disposed of safely to avoid contaminating the environment. These components include:

  • Mercury (Hg): It is a toxic metal that can damage the nervous system.
  • Cadmium (Cd): It is a toxic metal that can damage kidneys and bones.
  • Lithium (Li): It is a reactive metal that can catch fire if exposed to water.

It is important to recycle batteries correctly to ensure that reusable components are recovered and non-reusable components are safely disposed of.