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What are batteries made from?

Batteries are made from many different chemicals such as lithium-ion, zinc or nickel cadmium, they also contain paper and have a steel casing wrapped in plastic.

What are the benefits of recycling batteries?

  • Saving valuable resources - batteries contain many different metals and chemicals, these have been mined and transported from all over the planet. By recycling batteries these valuable resources can be used over and over again.
  • Preventing pollution - if batteries are not disposed of properly then the harmful chemicalszinc, lithium-ion and nickel cadmium inside them can leak out and damage the environment.

Wow fact: In the UK, we throw away over 600 million batteries every year.

How are batteries recycled?

  • Batteries are sometimes collected from your recycling bin, box or bag and often collected at supermarkets.
  • Then they are taken to a recycling plant where they are sorted according to which chemicals they are made from.
  • Batteries are then heated in to 1,000°C  in a furnace to extract the valuable metals.
  • The valuable core of the battery is then taken out in a complicated chemical process.
  • The valuable cores will be used to make many new objects.
  • The steel casing of the battery is taken to a steel plant and recycled.

Where can you recycle batteries?

Mid Devon, East Devon, Teignbridge, Torbay and West Devon councils all collect batteries from your recycling bin or box, as long as they are in a separate plastic bag. If you don't live in one of these areas you can take your batteries to local supermarkets for collection. To find out more about what you can recycle and where it is recycled in your area click here.

Teachers

We offer a batteries and alternative circuits workshop, click here to find out more.