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What Happens When You Recycle Your Batteries

When you recycle your batteries, fewer hazardous materials end up in our landfills. This goes a long way in helping to keep our planet safer from pollution.

Often times, when individuals commit to sustainable actions we underestimate the collective power that this has on protecting the environment, even if it’s something as small as recycling batteries. As we are exposed to hazards and chemicals every day, we need to become more diligent by taking care of the products we consume – especially at the end-of-life stage.

There are many different types of batteries, which are recycled in a variety of ways. The good news: the majority of materials in all of these batteries are reclaimable and can be used to make new products.

  • Lead Acid batteries—98 percent recycled—are broken apart at a hammer mill. The lead, heavy metals, and plastic all go into different recycling streams.
  • Alkaline batteries (AAA, AA, C, D, 9V, etc.)—100 percent recycled—are recycled in a mechanical separation process. The zinc, manganese concentrate, steel, paper, plastic and brass are all put back into the market. Zinc-Carbon and Zinc-Air batteries are recycled in the same way.
  • Lithium Ion batteries—100 percent recycled—are separated into metal and plastic components, which are reused to make new products.
  • Nickel-Cadmium batteries—100 percent recycled—are separated into metal and plastic components. The metals are recycled through a metal reclamation process that’s high temperature.
  • Nickel Metal Hydride batteries—100 percent recycled—have their plastics removed from the cell. The cells go through a drying process then are used for stainless steel or alloy manufacturing. Those materials are reusable.
  • Lithium batteries are shredded or hammered apart. Contents are submerged in non-acidic water to neutralize them, and the clean scrap metal is sold to metal recyclers. Then the carbon is recovered and the lithium is converted to a fine white powder.
  • Mercury batteries go through a temperature-controlled process to recover their heavy metals.

At Manville, a leading Canadian recycler, we accept and collect all of your recyclable materials. Keep in mind that when you recycle your batteries, almost no waste is created in the process. You can bring any type of lead acid battery to us for recycling. So that means you can recycle car/automotive batteries, lead acid, lead gel, steel case, lithium-ion & much more.