Be cautious with your used batteries

Did you know storing old batteries in a drawer or tossing them in the garbage is a safety hazard?

“Used batteries can still hold a residual charge. If you throw them in the garbage or store them with other batteries or metal items such as paper clips, they have the potential to cause a spark that could lead to a fire,” says Joe Zenobio, president, Call2Recycle Canada, Inc., Canada’s national not-for-profit consumer battery collection and recycling program. “Batteries can and should be responsibly recycled.”

Batteries cannot be put in municipal curbside recycling programs because residential recycling facilities are not designed to separate batteries from household recyclables. Due to their metals, batteries require a specialized recycling process, not to mention they can be a safety concern for people and property. However, it’s easy to drop off your used batteries for recycling at one of Call2Recycle®neighbourhood collection locations.

Although safety is reason enough to recycle your batteries, there are other valuable benefits. Used batteries often contain hazardous waste materials. By keeping your old batteries out of your local landfill, you’re helping to protect wildlife and the environment.

To recycle your batteries safely, follow these steps:

Bag them.Place all used, undamaged batteries in clear, plastic, produce-style bags. The bags will protect the batteries from sparking both in your home and while being transported for recycling.

Check for damage. If you have a battery that is swollen, corroded, leaking or showing burn marks, place it immediately in sand or kitty litter in a cool, dry place. Then, place it in a bag and take it to your municipal household hazardous waste (HHW) recycling centre. Do not put it in the garbage.

Drop them.Transport your bagged batteries to a Call2Recycle collection location. To find the battery collection and recycling location nearest to you, visit www.call2recycle.ca/locator. Call2Recyce will recycle the batteries and the recyclable bags used to safely protect the batteries.

Keep them cool. If you don’t plan to take your used batteries immediately to a collection location, store the bagged batteries in a cool, dry place in a non-metal container.

More information on battery recycling can be found at call2recycle.ca.

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