How we should be recycling batteries and what consumers need to know

How we should be recycling batteries and what consumers need to know />

30/04/2020

As a business we are conscious about the environment, BatteryPower Zone (BPZ) strongly believes in upholding South African values and being a responsible company that cares for the environment.

One such value is the practice of recycling batteries. Approximately 90% of all batteries are recycled and this is something the industry and consumers can be proud of. This is an impressive feat and shows the commitment of the South African people towards a more eco-friendly way of life.

To continue this tradition, BatteryPower Zone (BPZ) aims to spread awareness regarding the disposing of and recycling of all batteries. This broad article covers the different types of batteries including rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries.

We will also overview which types of batteries can be disposed of safely without any adverse effects and what type of batteries need to be recycled to avoid any environmental risks.

Batteries are all around us. They are in our cars, our smartphones, and in a vast array of daily use electronics. That is why it is important to know the possible hazards involved in using them. As mentioned earlier, we will divide them into 2 broad categories, rechargeable and non-rechargeable, and then look at some of the common types of batteries that fall in each category.

Starting with rechargeable batteries, some common types include:

  • Lead-acid: They are commonly used in our cars, golf carts, scooters wheelchairs, etc. They carry a small risk as lead is a toxic metal and, in the event of a short-circuit, lead can cause an electric fire.
  • Lithium-ion: They are popular in portable devices such as laptops and smartphones. They are dry cells in nature and, although they are non-toxic, they can be combustible if exposed to heat.
  • Nickel-cadmium: They are similar in use to lithium-ion. In fact, they are often viewed as alternatives to one another and have similar use in portable devices and medical equipment. They are dangerous due to the presence of cadmium which is a toxic metal and therefore they should never be incinerated.
  • Nickel-metal hydride: They are very similar to nickel-cadmium batteries but with one major difference. The toxic metal cadmium is replaced with a metal hydride which makes the battery non-toxic.

Non-rechargeable batteries include:

  • Lithium: They are small batteries used in watches, alarms, pacemakers etc. Although not toxic, the bigger types (Non phosphate) may have an ability to ignite.
  • Alkaline and carbon-zinc: They are the common AA battery that we use in remote controls, toys, and a host of other devices. They are non-toxic.
  • Zinc-air: They are used in small electronic devices like hearing aids. They are safe and non- toxic.

From the above, it is fair to say that generally non-chargeable batteries are safer to dispose of should you wish to throw them away. Although they too can be recycled, and we would highly recommend that people recycle all their batteries. Many shopping centers, communities etc. make provision where these batteries can be deposited.

On the other hand, rechargeable batteries should be recycled given the presence of toxic metals in most of them. In South Africa, you can recycle your rechargeable battery by dropping it off at one of our branches or any battery recycling facilities across the country.

We are proud to say that we recycle and dispose of all our products according to the mandated recycling policy of South Africa.