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How to dispose of batteries and hazardous waste?

Batteries and Hazardous Waste: Where Do They Go?

Posted by on August 10, 2020
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Every year, we throw out millions of batteries. With high-tech gadgets and cellular phones being used in our homes daily, it seems like every wireless item has its own battery. However, once a battery dies, do you know which is the most sustainable option to dispose of?

Once a battery dies, you have to consider what kind of battery it is and then decide where it goes. For instance, the batteries in your laptop or cellular phone cannot be thrown out in the garbage because they contain hazardous materials. Conversely, batteries in your television remote control can be thrown out immediately.

Here at Red Bins, we can take your dead batteries off your hands, as we provide the best bin rental services for the environment in Toronto. Keep reading to find out how to get rid of different household batteries. We will also discuss common hazardous waste materials and how to dispose of them safely.

How to Dispose of Household Batteries

Since there are several types of batteries for various gadgets, we will first explain how to dispose of household batteries. Then, we will list common rechargeable batteries and their disposal methods.

Single-Use Batteries

Single-use batteries are typical batteries that come in AA, AAA, 9V, and D-cell sizes made by Duracell, Energizer, and Sunbeam. These are the batteries you use for flashlights, television remotes, desk lamps, and children’s toys.

Once single-use batteries die, they are safe to throw out in the garbage. However, if you believe in the three Rs—reduce, reuse, and recycle—the good news is you can recycle single-use batteries. Each province in Canada is different when it comes to picking up single-use batteries for recycling, so contact your local city hall to check their recycling program.

Rechargeable Batteries

Eco-friendly consumers opt for rechargeable batteries because they are ideal for digital cameras, power tools, and other highly used electronics in your home.

If you are interested in trying rechargeable batteries over single-use ones, be sure to buy the correct ones for charging specific items:

  • Digital cameras, cordless phones, and small hand-held power tools take nickel-metal hydride and nickel-cadmium batteries

  • Cell phones and laptops use lithium-ion batteries

  • Emergency devices in public businesses, such as security systems and exit signs, use small-sealed lead-acid batteries

If you use nickel or lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, you cannot throw them away in the garbage or in a public dumpster because they are made with toxic metals such as cadmium and lead. These types of materials can harm the environment.

How to Prepare Rechargeable Batteries for Recycling

Once you have found a way to recycle your rechargeable batteries, here is how to prepare them for a safe transition.

  1. Remove the dead batteries from all laptops and electronics
  2. Separate laptop batteries from small electronics batteries, such as cellular phones and iPods
  3. Place non-conductive clear tape on all the terminals
  4. Double-check the steps for packaging the batteries you want to recycle

Depending on whether you are going to drop them off or mail them to a recycling facility, ensure that all batteries have been sanitized and are not damaged or broken.

What happens to hazardous waste?

Hazardous waste is toxic material or products that are poisonous or harmful to people if ingested or exposed to. In many instances, hazardous waste can make people sick and cause death in plants and animals.

Hazardous waste is everywhere, so you should make careful considerations before touching or exposing yourself to it. Common hazardous waste and chemicals can be found in the basement, garage, and storage spaces where you leave a lot of chemicals such as laundry detergent, paint, oils, and aerosol spray cans.

Below are some common household products that contain hazardous chemicals. You should go through this list carefully to ensure that if you need to dispose of any of them, they go to the right facility and do not contaminate your home and the environment.

Corrosive Liquids

Corrosive liquids include bleach, wax strippers, oven cleaners, pool chemicals, and laundry stain removers. If you have sensitive skin, you can break out in a rash if exposed to these chemicals.

Flammable Products

Flammable items are any liquid or solid substances that can ignite a fire, such as gasoline, lighter fluid, motor oil, kerosene, and paint thinners. If these items get near a candle or anywhere with minimal heat, like a mini-heater, they can combust and easily burn your skin or cause injury. When motor oil is recycled, it’s shipped to oil manufacturers where it is processed into new motor oil.

Explosive and Reactive Substances

Explosives are aerosol or gas/propane containers that contain materials that can poison people. Other items such as fireworks, firearm ammunition, and gas cylinders that carry propane or butane can explode if left close to heat and fires.

Toxic Items and Poison

Toxic items are cleaning fluids, antifreeze, solvents, and pesticides that are poisonous or lethal when ingested by people. Certain medical equipment, such as used syringes and biomedical waste, are also potentially poisonous. Syringes are placed in sharp containers and sent to a licensed incinery facility where they are destroyed.

Check with Your Province

Your local city has its own hazardous waste laws that are different in each province. You need to check with your city hall’s household hazardous waste collection program to determine how you can dispose of toxic waste and materials with the least impact on the environment.

Call a Junk Removal Service for Battery and Waste Chemical Disposal

There are so many kinds of batteries that we use in high-tech gadgets and cellular phones that, every year, we end up with dead batteries. However, once a battery loses its power, you cannot simply throw it away in the garbage. Some of them need to be recycled by your city.

If your dead batteries are piling up or you have a bunch of hazardous waste you need help with disposing of, we can pick it up for you as we offer bin rental services for the environment. If you would like to request a no-obligation estimate on bin rental in Toronto and the GTA, call Red Bins at 416-733-2467 or contact us here. We will get back to you within 24–48 hours to arrange an estimate.

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