Battery Recycling
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Battery Recycling
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Battery recycling is a recycling activity that aims to reduce the number of batteries being disposed as municipal solid waste. It is widely promoted by environmentalists concerned about contamination, particularly of land and water, by the addition of heavy metals and other toxic chemicals from batteries.

Household batteries can be recycled in Britain at Dixons, Currys, The Link & PC World (all part of DSG International plc). All 750 shops have battery collection boxes. These are often obscured behind the counter or in the back of the customer service area and you may have to ask where it is.

In Wales, England and Scotland a very small number of Argos, Homebase, B&Q, and Tesco stores are taking batteries back in store. List of Stores

Another UK scheme allows household batteries that have been securely wrapped in a plastic bag and then inserted inside a Jiffy bag or a strong box to posted free of charge. There is a list of these Freepost addresses for Tesco, EveryReady, Energiser, Duracell, Sainsburys and other major producers and supermarkets at ''Green Batteries'' Freepost Recycling. And a UK Battery Recycling Guide for Business is available at ''UK only recycles 4% of household batteries.

Battery recycling is the USA is explained in more detail at the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Also in USA, Batteries Plus Stores recycle all kind of batteries as part of the industry recycling initiatives through the Battery Council International organization .

Other European countries do much better than Britain with battery recycling, with Sweden and Belgium leading the way.

Types of batteries

Most types of batteries can be recycled. However, some batteries are recycled more readily than others, such as lead-acid automotive batteries (nearly 90% are recycled) and button cells (because of the value and toxicity of their chemicals). Other types, such as alkaline and rechargeable, can also be recycled.

Lead-acid batteries

These batteries include but are not limited to: Car Batteries, Golf Cart Batteries, UPS Batteries, Industrial Fork-Lift Batteries, Motorcycle Batteries, and Commercial Batteries. These can be regular lead acid , sealed lead acid, Gel Type, or absorbent glass mat (AGM) batteries.

Silver Oxide Batteries

Used most frequently in watches, toys and some medical devices silver oxide batteries can become highly hazardous at the end of their useful life. After a period of use of approximately five years the batteries may begin to leak their contents which contains mercury posing a serious health risk. The mercury will begin to corrode the inner shell of the battery. In most jurisdictions there exists legislation to regulate the appropriate handling and disposal of silver oxide batteries in order to minimise the risk to public health and the environment.