Why Can’t You Throw Batteries in the Bin?

When throwing rubbish away at your home, there are some things that shouldn’t go into your household bin. Most people are aware of those items you should never throw away in your general waste, although they are not always sure why.

Batteries are a prime example of this, as they are one item which should never be thrown in your household bin, but why is this? Here, we explain the correct way to dispose of your old batteries and why this is.

Why can’t batteries go in the bin?

Batteries can be either primary (a one-time use battery) or secondary (rechargeable, reusable batteries). The majority of batteries contain the following harmful heavy metals:

  • lead
  • mercury
  • copper
  • zinc
  • cadmium
  • manganese
  • lithium
  • potassium

All of these elements are extremely hazardous to both the environment and human health, and are able to permeate into the ground soil and thus water supplies when they are placed into landfill. For this reason, placing them in your household bin to dispose of them is not a safe option, as their harmful chemical content will ultimately make its way back into our water supplies.

How can I dispose of batteries?

Instead of throwing your batteries in the bin, there are a few other methods of disposal which are safe and do not threaten environmental and ecological systems.

Battery banks

Local authorities often provide battery banks at local institutions such as supermarkets and leisure centres which are frequented by local residents, giving you an easy opportunity to drop off and safely recycle any used batteries. Simply take any batteries which you need to dispose of and place them into the battery bank. They will then be safely removed and taken away to be recycled by local authorities.

Request a battery bag for recycling

Some people do not have time to drop their batteries at their local authorities, or may simply prefer to have their unwanted batteries collected from their home. In these instances a bag can be provided by local authorities in which you can place any batteries that are to be recycled. If you aren’t provided with a bag, many authorities allow you to use a resealable sandwich bag.

Once the bag is full, just eave in on top of your recycling bin and your local authority will collect them and leave a new bag for you under the bin’s lid. Loose batteries should never be placed in with your dry mixed recyclables, as they must be separated out and can contaminate the other waste.

Use rechargeable batteries

A different kind of alternative to simply throwing away your used batteries is opting for rechargeable batteries. By doing this, you will not have to think about the correct disposal of your batteries, and you will also save money on continual purchase of new ones for your home.

Here at Brown Recycling, we deal with more than just batteries, offering a dedicated hazardous waste disposal service to our customers throughout Stoke-on-Trent, Crewe and the surrounding areas. With over 80 years’ experience in the industry, our expert team are fully trained and can advise you on any queries you may have, so simply get in touch with us today. While we can’t just collect a few household batteries, the above suggestions should help you to deal with that drawer full of flat batteries safely.


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