Many people are unaware on how to dispose of their used batteries. They just drop it in their garbage cans and leave it to the waste disposal agency.
Little do they realize what transpires after that. Environment protection starts at home. If you truly care for your environment, then you need to know how to dispose used batteries.
It may be a watch, button or car battery of any dimension, like AAA, AA, C, D. The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) stipulates certain norms for disposing batteries. Elements in batteries, some of them namely mercury, nickel, cadmium have the harmful effect of damaging our environment if they are disposed incorrectly.
You should find out if the waste disposal agency is burning these batteries in a combustion chamber, or using it for land filling purposes. Most non-rechargeable batteries are not being disposed as per the regulatory norms.
Environmental effects of batteries
1) The metals in the batteries have the capacity to pollute water-bodies if they are released into the air.
2) The metals can corrode fertile soil and render it inert, because of its highly corrosive acids.
3) It can also harm people when they come in touch with it.
4) The contents of batteries are used for landfills. These contents will percolate into the ground and pollute ground water that is used by inhabitants.
How you can help your environment
1) Always buy mercury-free alkaline batteries. Read the label. Most batteries nowadays come with zero-mercury.
2) Before buying batteries, check if you already have available ones, so that you may avoid buying new ones.
3) Buy rechargeable batteries like nickel-cadmium. Even though they contain heavy metals like nickels and cadmium, they are rechargeable and will not be disposed of frequently like the non-rechargeable ones.
4) Rechargeable batteries have to be recycled. They are not safe batteries if they enter the disposal stage. For re-cycling rechargeable batteries visit http://www.ehso.com/ehso2.php?URL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rbrc.org/call2recycle/dropoff/index.php to find recycling unit near your location.
5) You can also visit www.earth911.org and enter your location and zip code to choose nearby battery recycling agencies.