Are rechargeable batteries recyclable?

Are rechargeable batteries recyclable? The short answer is ‘yes’. Actually, that’s pretty much the long answer too.

Rechargeable batteries are just as recyclable as their non-rechargeable counterparts.

In fact, good old 12-volt lead-acid car batteries enjoy a higher rate of recycling, over 95% in some countries, than any other type of battery.

Waste-reduction champions

Rechargeable batteries come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes, but aside from lead-acid batteries, when it comes to what’s inside them, most modern rechargeable batteries are either lithium or nickel-based. And compared with non-rechargeable batteries, their performance is amazing.

Most rechargeable batteries can be recharged hundreds or even thousands of times so imagine the vast amount of battery waste that would be created if we had to rely on single-use batteries!

In fact, it’s fair to say that, without rechargeable batteries, the revolution in mobile communication and electric vehicles wouldn’t have got started.

Be kind to your batteries

Maximising the life of your rechargeable batteries can further reduce battery waste.

For both lithium and nickel-metal-hydride batteries, this means not running them down to zero before each recharge.

Instead, it’s recommended that you keep the charge level between 40% and 80%. However, a full recharge from zero to 100% every month or two can help prolong battery life.

Another tip, particularly for lithium batteries, is to keep them cool. Operating continuously in a warm environment will shorten their lifespan.

How to recycle rechargeable batteries

In the case of phones, tablets and laptops, battery recycling will usually be part of the process of recycling the entire device.

Most manufacturers operate device-recycling programs that can often be accessed via retailers. This is in addition to schemes such as MobileMuster and local council collection services.

Remember that rechargeable batteries may be lurking out of sight in things like electric toothbrushes and shavers.

Often these can be returned to the place of purchase for recycling.

This is particularly important with older devices that may have nickel cadmium (Nicad) batteries. Cadmium is a toxic metal and Nicad batteries need to be properly recycled to ensure it doesn’t contaminate the environment.

Cell-type rechargeable batteries, such as the AA batteries used in computer mice and many other devices, can be recycled along with single use batteries in the collection bins located within some retail outlets, council offices or workplaces. (If your workplace doesn’t have a battery-recycling program already, it’s really easy to start one.)

Get involved

Ecocycle provides a range of battery recycling solutions to businesses, major retail chains, councils and other organisations.

Find out how your workplace can get involved in battery recycling. Call us on 1300 32 62 92 or fill out the form below, and we’ll be happy to develop a program that’s just right for you.

Are rechargeable batteries recyclable?

Speak with a battery recycling specialist today