Many of the items we use in our day-to-day lives are powered by batteries. While these small items make using technology easier and more convenient, they can be harmful to the environment if not disposed of properly. Be sure to recycle your batteries in the right place.
Old and used batteries should never be thrown in the garbage or in your residential blue bin. This is because batteries can still have a residual charge. If batteries are tossed into the blue bin with other metal items, they could start a spark that can potentially lead to a fire.
Batteries that make their way into the recycling bin, and eventually to the Material Recovery Facility, can become a fire and safety risk. Batteries can spark with other metal items, such as an aluminum or steel cans, and can start a fire at the facility. Not only does this put the health and safety of the sorting staff at risk, but it can also impact the recyclable material that otherwise would have been sorted, shipped, and baled to be made into something new.
By disposing of your batteries properly, you are keeping toxic materials out of the landfill, where they can be a threat to wildlife and the environment. When batteries are recycled the right way, the materials can be reclaimed and used toward making new items, such as bicycles, golf clubs, and small appliances.
Call2Recycle is the not-for-profit producer responsibility organization that manages battery recycling in Manitoba. They have made battery recycling easy and convenient for consumers by having hundreds of drop-off locations around the province. Visit Call2Recycle.ca/locator to find the location closest to you.
If you haven’t collected enough batteries to make a trip to a drop-off location, here are some tips for properly storing them at home.
- Lithium-ion batteries, such as those used to power devices, hold a higher charge. Tape the ends of these batteries with clear packing tape, electrical tape, or duct tape. Alternatively, you can place each battery into a clear, sealable plastic bag (i.e., Plastic bag.) Call2Recycle will recycle all plastic bags used to protect the batteries dropped into its collection boxes.
- Store your batteries in a non-metal container, such as a yogurt tub, cardboard box, or plastic container, until you’re ready to bring them to a drop-off location.