Alkaline and Lithium Battery Disposal
By: David Neff
Alkaline and Lithium-Ion batteries are used in products that are found everywhere and are used on a daily basis. From remote controls to cell phones and flashlights, we rely on them to complete everyday tasks in an easier mode. As the years have passed and the durability of batteries has been gradually improved, they have become a major factor in the portability of devices. Recently, batteries have not only improved in capacity, but also occupy less weight and space than they used to. The rising popularity of lithium batteries have caused many to ask: “What is the difference between Alkaline and Lithium batteries and how should they be properly disposed?”
One of the many advantages about alkaline batteries is that they are offered in standard sizes. They are not only easy to identify but can easily be replaced or swapped between different products that use the same size. Financially, alkaline batteries are very affordable and reliable for use in daily products which do not require much demand. However, over the years the Lithium-Ion battery has shown to be of preference because of its weight and durability.
Lithium-Ion batteries last up to 5 times longer than alkaline and are quickly rechargeable. They weigh much less than alkaline and are great for portable devices such as cell phones, tablets and cameras. Since each device manufacturer has different designs, batteries sizes vary greatly and are not always easy to find. However, they are a necessity in high demand applications where the maximum amount of power is required in the smallest package.
So what is the proper way to dispose of these batteries? Regulations vary from state to state. However in the majority of states, spent batteries are considered hazardous and must be disposed of properly. What does properly mean? Well, easily throwing them in the trash is against the law in many states. Instead, it is suggested you keep them in a bag until you have the opportunity to personally drop them off at a technology store such as Best Buy or similar.
For those living in California here are a couple web sites to visit regarding the rules and drop off locations in your county:
Outside of California there are still options for recycling alkaline and lithium batteries without sending them to the local landfill. A company called The Big Green Box states that they “offer companies, consumers, municipalities, and other generators a low cost, easy and flexible way to recycle batteries and portable electronic devices.” Visit //biggreenbox.com/ for more information.
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