understanding recycling today
The Mercury-Containing Rechargeable Battery Management Act of 1996 also known as “Battery Act” is a law that protects the environment. Through this law, the EPA and state Department of Environmental agencies can reduce the amount of hazardous substances released into the environment from used batteries. Companies are now producing mercury free button batteries.
It starts with you properly identifying the battery type you have since many batteries come in familiar sizes but are not similar in chemistry. Some even require special handling to properly store prior to transport. Not all batteries are created equal. Improperly storing certain batteries that are not fully spent can pose risks. A simple step such as taping over the terminals is the recommended storage method. Batteries can short-circuit or worse, can cause a fire. Be careful to store spent batteries in a location far from flammable materials and never where accessible to small children. We also suggest that you wear gloves when handling any battery that appears puffy or leaking. Lead Acid Batteries contain corrosive acids that will burn or harm the eyes and skin. BATTERY HANDLING & TRANSPORT MANUAL VERSION 1.01
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than 40 million PCs will be ready for end-of-life management in each of the next few years.
The U.S. EPA estimates that more than 350 million rechargeable batteries and nearly three billion dry-cell single use (Alkaline) batteries are purchased in the United States each year. This amounts to about 10 dry-cell batteries for each person each year.
These numbers do not include the hundreds of millions of button batteries manufactured a year, the printers, and all that comes along with our digital purchases from smart phones to tablets.
Best Battery Practices
Extending the life of the battery can be achieved through following best charge methods, monitoring and testing since many batteries are replaced as a way to troubleshoot an apparent problem but testing has shown to help avoid unnecessary financial and environmental costs to dispose.. The two methods of testing batteries:
1st- Impedance testing is an on line test and can be performed frequently to identify individual weak cells before they fail.
2nd- Battery discharge test is, normally, an off-line test and tests the actual output of the whole battery under load conditions. This will show what will actually happen if the battery is required to take the load.
Soil contamination can be harmful to health and is difficult to reverse.
“Every year in the United States, more than 3,500 people of all ages swallow miniature disc or “button” batteries. These are used to power hearing aids, watches, toys, games, flashing jewelry, singing greeting cards, remote control devices, and many other items. The National Capital Poison Center in Washington, DC, operates a 24/7 hotline for battery ingestion cases (202-625-3333).” http://www.poison.org/battery/index.asp