Disposing of a laptop battery is as easy as throwing it in the rubbish, right? Wrong.
Discarding your old laptop batteries in this manner not only harms the environment, but it could land you and your company with some hefty fines too.
To avoid both the environmental and financial risks involved, we’ll show you how to properly dispose of your laptop batteries, what the benefits of doing so are, and why the disposing of them safely is so important.
Can lithium-ion batteries be recycled?
Yes. As with any other kind of modern electrical or electronic waste item, the lithium-ion batteries used in laptops (as well as laptops themselves) can be recycled. A reputable IT disposal service will be able to take care of this for you to ensure it gets disposed of in the safest way possible.
Why is it important to dispose of batteries correctly?
Although the contents of lithium-ion batteries are way less toxic than other kinds of batteries, it’s worth noting that lithium is a reactive element. Basically, this means that, in certain conditions, lithium-ion batteries can combust and potentially start fires. Should they find themselves in the company of paper or cardboard in a recycling truck, for example, the results could be disastrous.
Likewise, other hazardous materials that are found in laptop batteries, like mercury, cadmium, and lead, can pose problems if they end up in a landfill. These toxic substances cause harm to the environment and enter the food chain, wreaking havoc on plants, animals, and humans as a result.
What are the advantages of recycling laptop batteries?
Properly disposing of your laptop batteries will result in a whole host of benefits, including:
Reduction of environmental damage
The chemicals that laptop batteries contain are harmful to the environment. By disposing of and recycling them in the correct way, you can reduce the effects these chemicals have on the environment.
Avoidance of fines
Chucking your laptop batteries without following the correct procedures could land you with a hefty fine. You can avoid such damages by using reputable recycling methods instead.
Preservation of non-renewable materials
Along with all those harmful chemicals, laptop batteries also house precious metals like gold, platinum and lithium. When they’re recycled properly, the metals within can all be salvaged and reused in new electronics.
Reduced risk of explosions and combustion
By avoiding the conditions where batteries could create dangerous situations, you’ll help to keep such risks to a minimum.
A simple and straightforward procedure
With so many schemes and programmes available, it’s truly never been easier to recycle laptop batteries in a safe and easy way.
How are batteries recycled?
Because of the potentially flammable lithium-ion that’s present, there’s a specific method of recycling lithium-ion batteries to render it inert and non-combustible.
First, the battery is fully discharged of its stored energy to prevent it reacting with any moisture, which may cause it to set on fire.
Next, the battery is frozen. This stops any leftover lithium from combusting when the battery is crushed, which is the next step.
How to dispose of a laptop battery
So, just how can you dispose of your laptop battery? Thankfully, there are plenty of different options available, including the below:
Through the manufacturer’s recycling programme
It’s often the case that laptop manufacturers operate their own battery recycling programmes. In fact, some of these schemes usually provide some form of incentive to businesses to encourage them to dispose of their batteries in the correct manner.
Supermarket chains and electronics stores such as Curry’s and the Apple Store also offer similar electronic recycling programmes, so they can take care of your unwanted batteries for you too.
Use a local recycling centre
Your local recycling and waste centre will likely have an electronics section where you can get rid of your old laptop batteries. Try getting in touch with them beforehand just to be on the safe side.
Use a recycling collection scheme
If it’s not possible to take your unwanted items to a local recycling centre, then a recycling collection scheme is another option. Head to the gov.uk page for recycling collection, type in your postcode, and the page will be able to point you in the direction of your local council page, with more information on how your items can be collected.
Though a battery bank
Often placed in high-traffic areas like supermarkets, gyms and petrol stations, battery banks are a simple, stress-free way of recycling your old batteries on your lunch break or whenever you need to fill up your tank.
Through an IT disposal service
A reputable IT disposal service (like us!) is often your best and most reassuring option when disposing of your old laptop batteries as a business. Through such services, your items will be collected and recycled in a safe, secure way, while the remarketing of laptops can even be used to generate revenue – offsetting the costs of using such services in the process.
CDL is one of the UK’s leading IT disposal companies, working to help private and public businesses and organisations safely retire and recycle their outdated IT assets. To find out how we could help your business, or more of the latest tech news and advice, visit our homepage or call our team today on 0333 060 2846.