Normal non-rechargeable batteries
are not recyclable. There have been various moves to address this issue,
but the industry has focussed attention on reducing the amount of toxic
materials in the batteries. Although much safer to dispose of this also
unfortunately makes them less valuable and therefore less attractive to
Rechargeable batteries can be recycled and many retailers have collection
facilities. However, highly toxic heavy metals (predominantly cadmium and
nickel) are used in their production. It is still probably preferable to
use rechargeable batteries where possible as long as you ensure you send
them for recycling when they are life-expired. Better still is to use mains
adapters where possible.
A note on Rechargables: The trick here is to buy more expensive rechargeables and keep them longer. The ones I have been using have been Ni-Cd which are in the cheaper range, like 1 UKP each. But when recharged they only deliver 1.2 volts and have a limited life like 800 mAh.
What I now have are Ni-MH (Nickel-Metal Hydride) which are 4 UKP each
but recharge in five hours and deliver 1.5 volts with a life of 1300
mAh. For more money I can have 2000 mAh life. These
sometimes have to be specially ordered since the smaller shops are
unwilling to stock expensive things which only the readers of this
message will ask for.
Electrical goods are recycled if taken to the tip. If the item is still
working it can be donated to Guild Care, who operate a re-use scheme. This includes Refrigerators, TVs, VHS/CD Players, Computers, Phones. Under
the new European Directives, all waste electrical goods will be banned from
landfill and manufacturers will be responsible for disposal. No-one is
quite sure how this will be implemented practically as yet. The crisis of
the fridge mountain appears to have been solved, with all local fridges
taken to the tip being dismantled and recycled locally.
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