Batteries do NOT belong in the recycling bin, and they do NOT belong in the trash. And for good reason, it's illegal in New York State to wrongly dispose of certain batteries. When batteries end up in a landfill they corrode and decay over time which can end up leaking contaminates into the water and soil, harming both humans and the environment. Although recyclable, batteries do NOT belong in your home recycling bin. The average recycling equipment is not designed to manage batteries and they can cause dangerous fires in trucks and facilities.
Recycling batteries properly comes with many benefits. From the conservation of non-renewable resources, to preventing pollution. Only if we recycle batteries right, can they be made into new products such as silverware, pots, pans, and even new batteries!
The most troublesome batteries are also the most popular, known as Lithium-ion batteries. These batteries power our smartphones, computers, and automobiles. While they are efficient for storing high-capacity power, when they end up in the recycling stream and become damaged during the sorting process, they can overheat and quickly cause a fire. In 2020 alone, the recycling and waste industry across the U.S. and Canada reported 333 fires, 48 injuries, and 5 deaths attributed to these fires.
These hidden hazards can harm those who manage our recyclables, making it essential to recycle right. Visit our website for more information about how to properly recycle various types of batteries.
Adapted from #RecycleRightNY resources