How to Dispose of a Laptop Battery

Many people hold on to their old laptop batteries because they’re unsure how to dispose of them properly. If your laptop has a sealed battery, you will need to take it to a certified recycler. Otherwise, you can recycle it as you would do anything else at your local recycling station. Continue reading this guide to learn more.

Can Lithium-Ion Batteries Be Recycled?

How to dispose of laptop battery

Yes, you can recycle lithium-ion batteries, but the recycling process isn’t going to be easy. You can’t go about it in the same manner as you would if you were recycling other types of electronic waste. Lithium is a highly reactive element, and the only safe way for you to recycle these batteries is by having them processed by a qualified electronic recycling center. 

This means that you need to find the nearest center and drop off the old lithium-ion batteries you would like to recycle. Most of the recycling centers will accept them free of charge. 

Why Should You Recycle Laptop Batteries Properly?

Billions of people worldwide are carrying electronics that consume batteries daily; many of them are laptops. Batteries are responsible for powering our gadgets and toys by taking chemical energy and converting it into electrical energy. 

The anode and the cathode, which are the opposite ends of a battery, generate an electrical circuit that pushes power to a device. Once that electrical circuit has failed, it’s time to dispose of the battery safely. 

Some people may think that it is OK to toss the battery straight into the trash. Throwing batteries away may seem like a harmless act, but it can significantly impact the environment. You see, each battery has toxic, hazardous, and corrosive materials in it, like lead, cadmium, and lithium. 

Here are some important reasons why you should recycle your laptop batteries properly and not just toss them in the trash:

Batteries that are not properly recycled will contribute to air and water pollution

When you toss your old batteries in the trash, they will end up in the landfill, where they are left to leak and decay. As the batteries corrode, their chemicals leak and soak into the soil, which will contaminate groundwater and surface water. Our ecosystem contains thousands of aquatic plants and animals, which are compromised when polluted with battery chemicals. 

Also, when you drink tap water from your faucet, you could be ingesting hazardous metals.  In addition to this, lithium batteries that have been improperly disposed of can be unstable. Lithium batteries are responsible for smoldering fires at landfill sites that last for years. 

This results in toxic chemicals being released into the air, hurting our breathing and contributing to global warming. In addition, improperly exposed batteries release a vaporized form that can get trapped in the atmosphere and pollute streams and lakes when it rains.

Improperly Dispose Batteries hurt Human Health

When you expose the environment to strong corrosive acids and lead found in batteries, it can cause danger and burns to our skin and eyes. Toxic metals like cadmium and nickel found in batteries are referred to as human carcinogens. Carcinogens are any radiation, substance, or radionuclide that acts as an agent that can cause cancer. 

When these agents interact with our water and air, it puts humans at risk of developing cancerous disabilities. Lead is another toxic material found in laptop batteries, which can lead to medical issues like neurological and developmental damage and congenital disabilities.

Why should you recycle laptop batteries properly? Basically, to save our planet and for the health of living creatures.

Correct ways to recycle laptop batteries

By recycling your old laptop batteries properly, you can do your part for the environment. 

Here are some correct ways to recycle laptop batteries:

Local stores may recycle laptop batteries. Some states ask that certain retailers recycle rechargeable batteries without charging a fee to their consumers. For example, New York is one of those states – they have a rechargeable battery law. Residents in New York can take their laptop batteries to stores that sell these batteries. 

Retailers are required to accept these laptop batteries, even if you didn’t initially purchase them from the store and you don’t even have to make a new purchase. If your state doesn’t have this law, then you could go to national chains such as Lowe’s, Best Buy, The Home Depot, and Staples – all of those stores offer a free recycling service for laptop batteries.

Use the Manufacturers Recycling Program

Many laptop manufacturers offer a recycling program where you can drop the laptop battery off to them, and they will recycle it for you, free of charge. Contact the manufacturer of your laptop and see if they offer this type of program. In addition, some manufacturers, like IBM, have a mail-in recycling service. 

Apple will also recycle your MAC batteries if you take them to one of their retail stores. However, manufacturers, such as Hewlett Packard, Acer, Toshiba, Sony, and Lenovo no longer offer their own recycling services but use what is referred to as the Call2Recycling program.

Use a Local Recycling Centre

Depending on the area where you live, you may be able to find some recycling services in your county or district where you can properly dispose of your laptop batteries. Often, you can drop your laptop batteries off at designated local retailers, town halls, community centers, fire departments, police departments, waste disposal facilities, and libraries. In addition, you can ask your public library or find information on state, county, or city websites. 

Use a Recycling Collection Scheme

There are recycling collection schemes that you can use, like the Catt2Recycling program. There are battery collection schemes that will take the battery from you free of charge. Then, you have some schemes that will pay you for your used laptop battery. Just shop around online and look into battery recycling collection schemes. 

Battery Banks

Battery banks are a great way to dispose of your used laptop battery properly. You can leave your battery at a battery bank, and they will recycle it for you. You should be able to find details of the nearest battery bank to you online. Alternatively, you can contact your local authority.

Advantages of Recycling Laptop Batteries

Recycling laptop batteries is more than just something you’re supposed to do – there are many advantages of recycling laptop batteries, such as:

  • Conservation: By recycling laptop batteries, you’re conserving natural resources, such as minerals and metals. 
  • Reduction: Recycling means you’re doing your part in reducing the amount of waste being sent to landfills. 
  • Saves Energy: You will be doing your part in saving energy to refine virgin materials. 
  • Reuse: Once the materials have been recycled, they can be put towards the manufacture of new products. 
  • Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions: By recycling your laptop battery, you’re helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. 

Those are the top five advantages of recycling laptop batteries, but the biggest advantage is that you’re doing your part in helping the world stay clean for future generations. 

Laptop Battery Recycle Services

If you take your time to do some research, you can find some laptop battery recycling services – these are places that you can either take your old laptop battery to or mail the laptop battery to. Once they receive the battery, they will recycle it for you. 

Conclusion

Recycling your old laptop battery doesn’t have to be hard. There are many services out there that will recycle the battery for you. But, whatever you do, don’t just toss it in the garbage because that’s not the right thing to do.

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