Schools get through their fair share of batteries, and with the start of the new school year fast approaching, now is a good time for a refresher lesson on battery recycling.
It’s an important lesson because each year in Australia less than 10% of discarded batteries get recycled. Aside from contributing to the mountains of waste going to landfill this also represents a waste of valuable resources, particularly when recycling batteries is both simple and convenient.
By weight and number single use (non-rechargeable) batteries make up most of the volume of discarded batteries, so one way to reduce this waste stream is to opt, where possible, for rechargeable batteries. But even though rechargeable batteries are constantly improving, they too will eventually fail, so it’s important to remember that they can also be recycled.
Schools Can Recycle All Types Of Batteries
Pretty much any kind of battery that schools are likely to encounter can be recycled. These include:
- Common ‘cell’-type batteries, typically in sizes from AAA through to D. These may be labelled as carbon or alkaline batteries.
- 9 volt batteries such as those used in smoke alarms.
- Button batteries often found in calculators. (Special care needs to be taken when dealing with button batteries around young children. Smaller types can be easily swallowed and cause serious injury.)
- Recyclable cell-type batteries. These may be lithium or nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries.
- Batteries from laptop computers, video cameras and still cameras. These are mostly lithium ion batteries.
- Rechargeable batteries from cordless tools. Older ones may be nickel cadmium. More recent batteries are usually lithium ion.
How Do I Recycle Batteries
It’s actually really easy to recycle batteries. Just order as many of our pre-paid battery recycling buckets as you need and we’ll take care of delivery, pick up and recycling. All you need to supply is the old batteries!
In setting up a battery recycling program in your school you are not only helping to harvest the current crop of expired batteries. You are also sowing the seeds, in the form of good recycling habits, that will lift the battery recycling rate for decades into the future. You will also be providing an opportunity for students to learn about waste and energy as well as how we use materials and recycling in general.
Ready to become a ‘zero battery waste’ school? Give us a call on 1300 32 62 92, or fill out the form and one of our specialists will be able to help you set up your school’s battery recycling program.