When we get caught up in our busy schedules and tedious routines, it becomes easy to overlook the small things. For example: we’ve all heard that it’s harmful to throw batteries in a trash can; yet many people still do it. Tossing a dead battery doesn’t seem dangerous. You’re only one person. But what if millions of others were also disposing of batteries incorrectly? Consider the effect that would have on the planet. With an estimated 3 billion dry-cell batteries sold every year in America alone, it is important that we are informed on the proper ways to dispose of and recycle electronic waste.
Because we are in a digital/ electronic era, batteries are used in almost everything we use: Cell phones, laptops, remote controls are just a few of the things we use everyday that are powered by batteries.
So why is throwing away an old battery into your trash can a bad idea? First, take a closer look at what batteries are made of. They consist of a number of heavy metals including mercury, lead, zinc, nickel, cadmium, manganese, and lithium.
While these batteries pose no harm during their normal use, these heavy metals can be harmful to the environment. When dumped into a landfill, these metals can leak into the soil, groundwater, and nearby streams and lakes. If batteries don’t end up in a landfill, they will end up being incinerated along with other waste. These metals also cause damage to the environment when burned. Ash is created and can spread through the air, causing damage to the area where it lands.
In honor of Earth Day this month, take a little time to spread awareness regarding the negative effects that non-recycled batteries have on the environment. In order to prevent harm to the environment, batteries should be recycled properly instead of just thrown away in everyday trash cans. Remember, batteries come in all shapes and sizes. This includes batteries used in remotes and other household products, phone batteries, car batteries, and more. Do your part this Earth Day to help save the environment, and be sure to recycle all used batteries.