It's important to recycle batteries and avoid putting them in the trash for safety and environmental reasons. When you recycle batteries, there are a few things you need to remember to do to protect both the batteries you're recycling and your household.
The following are six things it's good to remember to do when you recycle your batteries:
Securing the positive terminals of all of your batteries
Securing the positive terminals of batteries you're going to recycle is a good idea because this will provide protection against any charge that may be left in them.
Positive battery terminals can be secured by being covered with a small piece of masking tape that will prevent the terminal from coming into contact with any conductive surface.
Keeping used batteries away from kids while you're waiting to recycle them
You don't want kids to be able to get at batteries you've set aside for recycling. Children could potentially burn themselves from handling lithium button cell batteries. Also, young children sometimes attempt to swallow small items like batteries, which is very dangerous.
Storing batteries in a container made from plastic
When you're storing batteries before recycling them, you should never store them in a metal container. This is because metal is a conductor. Another problem with a metal container is that metal is corrosive and could begin to break down over time if it is exposed to battery acid and routinely used to store batteries.
Protecting batteries from heat and moisture
Batteries need to be kept in a cool, dry place until they are ready to be recycled. Extreme heat can cause batteries to melt and break down. Moisture or humidity in an area where batteries are stored can also create problems because water can be a conductor.
Safely dealing with broken batteries
Special care needs to be taken with broken batteries. Broken batteries could potentially leak battery acid, which can be very dangerous and harmful to the skin.
Any battery that appears damaged should be put in a sealed plastic container and surrounded with a non-flammable material like cat litter that can absorb any leaking substances. When you recycle a damaged battery, you need to let the battery recycling service know that it is damaged so that it will be handled with care.
Always keeping large batteries like vehicle batteries upright
If you're recycling a larger battery like a car battery, you should take care to always ensure that the battery remains upright. Vehicle batteries and other batteries used to power heavy equipment contain corrosive acid. This acid could potentially leak out of the battery and create hazards if the battery is tipped on its side or placed upside down.