Dispose of Or Recycle a 12-Volt Lithium Battery
A 12 volt lithium battery is an excellent option for powering electronic devices, with an average lifespan of over 10 times longer than alkaline batteries. However, when these batteries are no longer in use, it is vital to properly dispose of or recycle them for the safety of others and the environment. Batteries are a source of toxic chemicals that can cause damage to the environment when they are disposed improperly. If they are left to rot in landfills, they can leak their chemicals into the groundwater and cause further environmental damage.
The good news is that most rechargeable batteries are recyclable. These batteries contain many different materials, including copper, nickel, cadmium, lead and rare-earth metals. Many of these are considered hazardous waste and must be recycled rather than thrown in the trash or recycled with regular household recycling. However, recycling 12 volt lithium battery waste isn’t as easy as dropping them in the curbside bin. There are several steps to take to ensure your batteries are recycled correctly.
Look for battery recycling programs at local electronics stores and big box stores. These stores usually have special containers for this purpose. Many of these programs also accept entire devices that contain non-removable batteries. For example, laptops that contain lithium-ion batteries can be dropped off for recycling at these locations.
How to Properly Dispose of Or Recycle a 12-Volt Lithium Battery
Check with your local government to see if there is a household hazardous waste drop-off location in your area. Most communities have centers that accept the collection of various types of batteries and other household hazardous waste. These centers put the batteries through a process that recovers the different metals. These materials can be reused to manufacture new batteries and other products.
When you are ready to drop off your used batteries, remember that they are considered hazardous waste and should be bagged or taped. Make sure to keep them separate from other battery types – mixing them could result in a dangerous chemical reaction. Some battery recyclers may charge a fee for lithium-ion batteries, so it’s important to ask beforehand.
It is recommended to cover the ends of each battery with a piece of non-conductive clear tape before placing them in the container. This will prevent lingering current from causing a fire hazard. It is also a good idea to keep the batteries in a dry, cool place before bringing them to the recycling center.
Most battery recyclers will require the removal of batteries from the devices they are in. If the batteries cannot be removed, contact the manufacturer for specific recycling instructions. These types of batteries can be found in older cellphones, cordless power tools, digital cameras, laptops and children’s toys. These batteries can also pose a fire hazard if they are broken or the terminal ends touch. Store these batteries out of reach from small children. They are a choking hazard and can cause harm if swallowed.