Battery Facts 101

We have been using batteries for many decades to power our household items and portable devices such as phones, home and portable game devices, and now even cars. Batteries can vary in size, it can range from the size of a penny to the size of a table. Batteries also use many different types of chemicals to produce its power, but many of these chemicals can contaminate the soil, water, and air. These chemicals can also start landfill fires that can burn underground for years and release toxic chemicals into the air.

Here are the different types of batteries and how they need to be recycled.

  1. Lead Acid– Broken apart at a hammer mill. Then placed in a vat where lead and heavy materials fall to the bottom and plastic floats. Then heavy metals are separated.
  2. Alkaline– Has to be recycled at “room temperature”. A mechanical separation process where the battery components are separated into three end products, which are a zinc and manganese concentrate, steel, paper, plastic, and brass. 100% recyclable.
  3. Lithium-ion– Plastic is separated from metal components. Metals are then recycled via a high-speed temperature metal reclamation (HTMR). All high-temperature metals within a battery report to a molten-metal bath within the furnace, then it solidifies during the cast operation. 100% recyclable.
  4. Nickel-Cadmium- same process as a Lithium-ion battery.
  5. Nickel Metal Hydride– Plastic is removed from a cell portion. The cells go through a drying process to remove moisture from the cells. Once dried they become a valuable feedstock for stainless steel and or alloy manufacturing industries. 100% recyclable.
  6. Lithium– A shredder or high-speed hammer depending on battery size. Submerged in caustic water. Then metals are removed and sold.
  7. Mercury– Batteries and heavy metal are recovered through a controlled-temperature process.
  8. Zinc-Carbon– same process as an Alkaline battery.
  9. Zinc Air– same process as an Alkaline battery.

Join us in recycling batteries by dropping them off to East Central Recycling at 701 E. Centennial Avenue during regular business hours of Monday through Friday 8a-4:30p or on Saturday 8:30a-11:30a.