Lithium and lithium-ion batteries power hundreds of products we come in contact with every day. The small and lightweight power sources make our devices, toys, and tools much easier to transport. However, as good as they are, you will need to recycle lithium batteries at some point. This guide will help you safely recycle these batteries.
What Should I Do with a Damaged Lithium Battery?
Lithium battery recycling in Australia is an ideal way to safely remove these batteries from your home or workshop. Occasionally, you may find a battery that is damaged. Some common types of damaged batteries include batteries that are:
- Dents, Punctures
If you find a battery that is damaged, do NOT throw it into your regular waste bin. Place leaking or damaged batteries in a plastic bag and take them to your local community centre.
Note: Batteries that have been exposed to water should be treated the same way as damaged batteries.
What’s the Difference Between Lithium Primary Batteries and Lithium-Ion Batteries?
The two types of lithium batteries have different purposes and properties. Here is what you need to know:
- Lithium primary batteries: These are usually used to power portable consumer devices like handheld games, watches, or children’s toys. These batteries are single-use and not rechargeable. These batteries can be deadly if swallowed by small children. Additionally, they pose a significant risk for fire because they contain large amounts of reactive lithium compounds. These batteries can ignite if they come in contact with water.
- Lithium-ion batteries: The lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable and larger than lithium primary batteries. Typically, these batteries will power larger devices like laptops, cellular devices, and digital cameras. Exercise care around lithium-ion batteries as they can explode or start a fire.
Are Car Lithium Batteries Recyclable?
You can recycle lithium car batteries. Governments across the globe now mandate that these batteries be made so that it is easier to recycle lithium batteries made for electric vehicles. The recycling techniques used now make it possible to recover 95% of the raw materials used to make the batteries.
Benefits of Recycling Lithium Batteries
According to the Global Footprint Network, roughly 28 billion batteries are thrown away each year. The metals and toxins contained in these batteries will inevitably leech out into the soil contaminating the air, water, and earth in the vicinity. Keeping these materials out of landfills is a massive benefit of recycling lithium batteries. Other benefits include:
- It saves energy that would be spent on refining new materials
- Conserves natural resources like minerals and metals
- Reduce production of greenhouse gasses
- Sustain the environment for future generations
- Create well-paying jobs in the recycling industry
- Recycled materials are used to make other products
Dos and Don’ts of Recycling Lithium Batteries
- Remove damaged or defective batteries from their devices. If it is unsafe to remove the batteries, recycle the whole unit
- Use an anti-static bag to store the batteries
- Store the container in a cool, dry place to prevent the threat of ignition
- Tape off exposed connectors
- Ensure the batteries are recycled at a certified recycling centre
- Do not put defective or damaged batteries in regular household waste
- Do not crush or puncture batteries as puncture can lead to short circuit
- Do not store batteries near flammable materials
- Do not expose these batteries to water or excessively damp conditions
- Do not store the lithium or lithium-ion batteries in large quantities
How to Dispose of Lithium Batteries
To recycle lithium batteries, you need to gather and separate types of your materials for recycling. From there, you can either take your batteries to a recycling yard that accepts them (such as ours) or call to organise a collection. If you recycle with us, you can even get cash for your scrap.
Remember, you should never put any kind of batteries in your waste bin at home. Keep them separate from other rubbish you have accumulated, and apply a thin piece of sticky tape around the terminals of the batteries to prevent fires.