How are batteries recycled

Batteries- Recycling Process

How are batteries recycled?

Used batteries can be sent for recycling by placing them into collection containers that can be found at many retail outlets and other public buildings across the UK.

Compliance schemes, like Valpak which works in partnership with Ecobat Logistics collect these boxes and take the batteries away to be recycled.

Sorting batteries before recycling helps the recycling process. This is because batteries are made from many different chemistries such as lithium-ion (used in laptop batteries), zinc (used in AA batteries) or nickel cadmium (used in power tool batteries).

Sorting batteries into their different chemistry types means more of the original material can be recovered to make new products.

There are different ways of recycling batteries; however, the aim is always the same – recovering the raw material used to make the battery so that it can be used again to make something new. Download a copy of our How Batteries are Recycled document.

Below outlines some common battery types and the different ways the recovered materials can be used:

Lead Acid Batteries

  • Battery Use - Cars, forklifts
  • Recovered Materials - Lead, Polypropylene and Gypsum (from the acid).
  • Potential Uses - Lead acid batteries, Battery cases - other products, Agriculture and other industries (filler for plasterboard and washing powder)

Nickel Cadmium

  • Battery Use - Power tools
  • Recovered Materials - Nickel, Steel, Cadmium
  • Potential Uses - Metal Plating, Steel Industry, Batteries - restricted use

Zinc-based Batteries

  • Battery Use - Domestic
  • Recovered Materials - Steel, Zinc, Manganese
  • Potential Uses - Steel Industry, Many Industrial Applications, Many Industrial Applications.

Nickel Metal Hydride

  • Battery Use - Mobile phones
  • Recovered Materials - Nickel, Steel.
  • Potential Uses - Steel Industry

Lithium Ion

  • Battery Use - Laptops
  • Recovered Materials - Cobalt, Steel.
  • Potential Uses - Electronics, battery, paint manufacture, Steel Industry.