Recent studies show there are 100 batteries in the average Canadian household in remote controllers, watches, children’s toys, power tools, computers, alarm clocks and many other things.
Batteries are also used in industry and community infrastructure. For example, batteries provide phone service when the power is off.
The three types of batteries are wet cell batteries used mostly in vehicles, dry cell batteries and rechargeable batteries which are most common in households and workplaces.
A chemical reaction inside batteries creates the power. Chemicals include copper, cadmium, mercury, zinc, lead, nickel and lithium depending on the kind of battery.
All batteries should be recycled to prevent these chemicals and metals from causing serious damage to the environment and human health.
Button batteries are the easiest to recycle and contain the most valuable materials.
Vehicle batteries can be taken to local landfills where they are collected for recycling.
The Flin Flon Recycling Centre began collecting dry cell and rechargeable batteries of all shapes and sizes for recycling in 2014.
Batteries should be in a sealed bag or container.
The batteries are collected and shipped through the Call 2 Recycle program. It is completely free as companies who make batteries pay for it so they don’t end up in landfills.
Call 2 Recycle sends two boxes and some plastic bags as rechargeable batteries and Li-Ion, SSLA/Pb and lithium primary batteries need to be in separate bags for shipping according to Transport Canada rules. Batteries are placed in the boxes, taped up and shipped.
In 17 years more than 7.8 million kilograms of batteries have been recycled through this program. At the beginning of November, Manitoba had recycled more batteries than in all of 2013.