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Why Recycle Waste Batteries?

When waste batteries are sent to landfill, toxic heavy metals including mercury, nickel and cadmium will eventually begin to leak into the ground as the casing of the battery corrodes. The resulting pollution caused to the water and soil causes long-term damage to the environment and our ecosystems.

Any batteries that end up being incinerated, having been discarded along with other household waste also cause damage to the environment because instead of polluting the ground, the same heavy metals pollute the air instead.

When batteries are recycled responsibly, we are able to protect our environment, recover valuable materials and save energy.


Back in 2009, the EU Battery Directive was adopted in the UK and a recycling target of 45% by 2016 has been set. Under the legislation of this directive, all companies involved in the production of batteries are required to contribute towards the cost of recycling by implementing schemes to manage the collection and treatment of used batteries.


Batteries fall into three different categories:

  • Wet Cell Batteries
  • Disposable Dry Cell Batteries
  • Rechargeable Dry Cell Batteries

Wet Cell Batteries – are used to power vehicles, solar energy systems and any appliances that can run on 12 or 24 volts. The majority of wet cell batteries can be recharged, but eventually they will always lose their capacity and need to be replaced.

Disposable Dry Cell Batteries – are used to power a variety of everyday items. We use this type of battery in anything from toys, clocks and torches, to items like heart rate monitors, cameras and watches.

There several different types of disposable dry cell battery, including:

  • Alkaline
  • Zinc carbon
  • Zinc chloride
  • Button cell – lithium and silver oxide

Rechargeable Dry cell Batteries – are used in all kinds of different electronic items. They are a great choice for use in items like toys and torches as they have a long lifespan, but they are also used in such things as mobile phones, computers and cordless power tools.

There are three different types of rechargeable dry cell battery:

  • Nickel Cadmium
  • Nickel – metal hydride
  • Li- Ion batteries

Although rechargeable batteries are an excellent choice because they can be used repeatedly, just like wet cell batteries, they can only be recharged a certain number of times before they will no longer hold sufficient power and need to be replaced.


All batteries can be recycled, enabling us to recover and reuse a broad variety of different materials and protect our environment in the process. Recycling your waste batteries responsibly means that high quality materials including silver, zinc, nickel, mercury, cadmium, iron and lead can be recovered and used in the manufacture of new batteries, items of jewellery and stainless steel.

Recycling old batteries involves a far more complex process than many other waste items, due to the variety of materials involved but it is best for our environment and well worth the extra effort!

Get in touch with us here at Phoenix Compactors & Balers for any help or advice on waste management issues. We are always happy to help.

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