Battery Disposal

Battery Facts

Small dry-cell batteries for flash-lights and radios are used throughout the un-electrified world. Most of these batteries are disposable lead-acid cells which are not recycled. Lead from disposed dry-cells leaches into the ground, contaminating the soil and water. LED based lighting systems dramatically decreases the need for disposable dry-cell batteries.

Over 12 billion dry-cell batteries were sold in 1993 (SELF, 2002)

America (280 million people) = throw out estimated 3 billion disposable batteries every year. (2002)

Nepal (26 million people) = throw out estimated 200 million (low end) disposable batteries every year. (2002)

Hazards of Dry-Cell Batteries

Several types of batteries still use heavy metals as electrodes or to increase their lifespan. These metals include mercury and cadmium. Even at low levels, mercury can impair the central nervous system, kidneys, lungs and liver. Mercury bio-accumulates in the food chain, exposing species at the top to the highest concentrations. Elevated levels of cadmium can damage the kidneys, liver, respiratory tract and lungs.

In 1989 in the United States, spent household batteries accounted for 88 percent of mercury entering the municipal solid waste stream. With any battery disposal method,the potential exists to release heavy metals into the environment. Thus, landfill disposal is regulated to prevent leakage of mercury, and incinerator disposal is regulated to guard against toxic stack gases.

Alkaline batteries - contain potassium hydroxide, and mercury

Zinc-Carbon batteries (ordinary D cell flash-light battery) Contain varying amounts of mercury and potassium hydroxide and Lead

Silver Oxide batteries- contain potassium hydroxide concentration, silver oxide and mercury

Mercuric Oxide batteries –contain mercury, mercuric oxide, potassium hydroxide and/or sodium hydroxide

Silver Oxide batteries- contain potassium hydroxide concentration, silver oxide and mercury

Mercuric Oxide batteries –contain mercury, mercuric oxide, potassium hydroxide and/or sodium hydroxide

Lithium batteries - contain lithium. Lithium reacts with air or water to produce fire and/or an explosion

Nickel-Cadmium batteries - contain large amounts of cadmium and cadmium salts. They also contain large amounts of potassium hydroxide and/or sodium hydroxide nickel, cobalt and lithium salts. Ni-Cad cells represent a solid waste problem because cadmium is a highly toxic heavy metal.

(ADEQ Hazardous Waste Division, Milly Archer, 2002)


We install solar systems in Northern NSW and Southern QLD.


QLD:
Gold Coast (from Coolangatta to Southport), Nerang and Hinterland (Beaudesert) and out West (Warwick, Stanthorpe, Killarney)


NSW:
Northern NSW (Tweed Heads to Yamba, including Evans Head, Byron Bay and Ballina); the Far North Coast Hinterland (Grafton via Lismore to Murwillumbah) and out West (Casino to Tenterfield, including Drake and Tabulam, as well as Woodenbong and Bonalbo)

For larger system we also go up to Brisbane or down to Coffs Harbour and even Glen Innes. Other places by arrangement.