Why Organizations Need a Smart Battery Recycling Container
By John Dillon, VP Marketing Superfy, 15 November 2023
Executives for a sizable organisation understand the importance of sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Part of that responsibility includes properly disposing of electronic waste like used batteries to minimise environmental impact. While recycling programs for paper, plastic, and glass are common, e-waste recycling requires specialised handling and disposal.
It’s up to all organisations to implement a sustainable waste management program that’s convenient and effective. An important first step is sourcing a suitable container to hold the e-waste. This guide explains why a smart battery recycling container is a necessity for most businesses.
The Growing Problem of Battery Waste and Why Proper Recycling Matters
According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), 53.6 million metric tons of e-waste were generated worldwide in 2019, and only 17.4% of this was properly recycled. For executives, responsible e-waste and battery recycling should be top of mind, and for valid reasons outlined below:
Harmful Materials and Toxins: Batteries contain heavy metals like lead, cadmium, and mercury, which can pollute the environment and harm human health if not properly handled and recycled. Industrial recycling solutions like Superfy help avoid further mining and reduce pollution.
Diminishing Resources: The materials in batteries are non-renewable resources. Recycling batteries helps recover and reuse these materials, reducing the need for raw material extraction. Some estimates indicate recycling just one million laptops can generate energy resources to match the electricity used by 3,657 households in a year.
With the impacts of e-waste and battery pollution becoming more apparent, instituting proper recycling processes is now more critical than ever. Company executives should look towards implementing a comprehensive battery recycling program that will benefit the environment, their company, its stakeholders, and the planet as a whole.
How a Smart Battery Recycling Container Can Enable Sustainable E-Waste Management
A Superfy smart battery recycling container is more than just a receptacle — it’s an intelligent solution that revolutionises e-waste management.
Organisations focused on sustainability should consider this a priority for the following reasons:
Real-Time Collection Data: A smart container doesn’t just collect batteries; it collects invaluable data. Real-time performance metrics by bin and area allow you to monitor and adjust your communications and educational programs where collections are lower, promoting more effective recycling habits.
Optimised Collections: Equipped with a sensor, the smart container monitors fill levels, ensuring collections only occur when bins are full. This effective use of resources leads to a more sustainable and cost-effective waste management strategy.
Fire Hazard Alerts: The sensor also monitors temperature levels, providing alerts if a potential fire hazard is detected. This safety feature reduces environmental and safety risks.
Accurate Reporting: Measuring the success of recycling initiatives is crucial. Our smart containers provide accurate reporting, making it easier to track your organisation’s progress and dedication to sustainability.
Compliance: Many regions have laws around e-waste and battery disposal to minimise environmental impact. A smart battery recycling container helps ensure your organisation complies with these regulations through responsible collection and disposal of used batteries.
Reduced Costs: When batteries end up in landfills, the chemicals can contaminate the surrounding soil and groundwater. The cost to remediate landfill sites and address environmental damage is substantial. A great way for organisations to avoid this planet damage and costs is by instituting a smart battery recycling solution that promotes safe disposal, similar to what Ecobatt did. By partnering with Superfy, this Ecocycle’s battery collection, sorting and processing arm was able to improve its nationwide battery recycling program, slashing operational costs for 14,000 collections of 1,000 tonnes of batteries from over 5,000 collection points.
Better Brand Image: Implementing a battery and e-waste recycling program demonstrates your organisation’s commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship. This can enhance your brand reputation and help attract environmentally-conscious customers, employees, and investors.
In summary, Superfy’s smart battery recycling solution not only ensures compliance and reduces costs but also provide insights and efficiency, demonstrating your brand’s commitment to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices.
What steps will you take to implement a sustainable waste management program?Our team at Superfy can help get you started — request a demo today!
5 Best Practices for Safe and Effective Battery Handling and Recycling
Properly handling and recycling batteries is crucial for avoiding fires, environmental damage, and legal issues.
Follow these 5 best practices for safe and effective battery recycling in your enterprise:
Designate a secure battery collection container: Choose a secure recycling container specifically for collecting used batteries. Keep the container in an area away from heat or water sources. Clearly label the container as “Used Batteries” so employees know the proper disposal method.
Train employees on proper battery handling and disposal: Educate all staff on the importance of proper battery disposal and handling. Batteries should be discharged before disposal by placing them in a device until they no longer power on. Staff should tape or cover exposed terminals to prevent fires and never throw batteries in the trash, where they can be crushed or cause a fire.
Recycle batteries according to the type: Different batteries require different recycling methods. Alkaline and carbon-zinc batteries are landfill-safe in some areas, but rechargeable batteries like nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) and lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries must be recycled. Check local regulations regarding battery recycling and disposal to confirm what’s permissible in your region.
Dispose of batteries promptly: Avoid accumulating used batteries over time. Establish a regular pickup or drop-off schedule with your battery recycling partner. Executives should strive to set an example through environmentally friendly business practices — prompt battery disposal is a good way to portray this commitment.
Choose an approved battery recycling partner: Select a battery recycling partner that’s certified to properly handle all battery types you collect, including rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries. They’ll dispose of batteries in an environmentally responsible manner according to applicable regulations. Reputable industrial recycling solutions will provide certificates of recycling and reports on the volume of batteries recycled.
By following these best practices, you can safely implement an effective battery recycling program in your organisation. Your leadership on this issue will motivate others and benefit the environment. If you want to know what happens to recycled batteries, we recommend checking our recently published guide.
5 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Partner for Seamless Battery Recycling Logistics
When selecting a partner for managing your battery recycling logistics, look into these 5 criteria to ensure an efficient and seamless process:
Compliance and Certification: Select a provider with proper certification and compliance for hazardous waste management and disposal. They should maintain all required permits and licenses to collect, transport and recycle e-waste and batteries according to regulations. Ask about their certification for ISO 14001, ISO 45001 and R2.
Scalability: Choose a provider with the ability to adapt recycling programs as your needs change. They should offer flexible service levels and the ability to increase pickups and add new locations quickly. Look for a partner with a robust infrastructure and multiple facilities to handle higher volumes.
Reporting and Analytics: An ideal partner will provide data, insights, and analytics on your recycling and waste streams to optimise operations. They should offer real-time dashboards, customised reports and key metrics to track the impact of your sustainability programs. Data such as total weight recycled, CO2 avoided, and landfill diversion rates are useful for both managing logistics as well as ESG reporting.
Logistics and Service: Look for a provider that can handle the entire battery recycling process from pickup to final recycling. They should provide scheduled pickup services, properly seal and label all containers for transport and have their fleet of vehicles to transfer materials between locations. Ask about their sorting and recycling methods to ensure maximum material recovery.
Customer Service: Choose a partner that provides high-quality customer service and support. They should have a dedicated account manager, offer employee training on proper battery disposal and be available for any questions about services, logistics or reporting. Good communication and a commitment to continuous improvement are signs of a reliable long-term partner.
In summary, partnering with a provider that has a proven track record, scalable solutions, data-driven insights, end-to-end logistics, and top-notch customer service will ensure a seamless battery recycling program. Industrial recycling solutions like Superfy can help you achieve your sustainability goals and gain valuable operational efficiencies — request a demo today to get started.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it illegal to put batteries in the bin?
Yes, it’s illegal to dispose of batteries in a regular household waste bin. Batteries can contain harmful chemicals, which, if sent to a landfill, can leak and contaminate soil and water, causing environmental damage. Under the Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations 2009, UK consumers can return used batteries to any retailer that sells them—even if they didn’t buy them there—for proper recycling. Similarly, in Canada, the USA and Australia, you can return a used battery to the nearest recycling plant or retailer that accepts them.
How do you pack batteries for recycling?
Packing batteries for recycling should be done carefully to avoid any potential hazards.
Here’s a simple step-by-step guide:
Isolate the terminals: For 9-volt batteries and other batteries with exposed terminals, cover the terminals with tape (electrical tape is preferred) to prevent possible short circuits or sparks.
Sort by type: If possible, sort your batteries by type (alkaline, lithium, nickel-cadmium, etc.), as different types of batteries are processed differently.
Use original or separate packaging: If you still have the original packaging, it can provide an extra layer of protection. If not, place the batteries in separate plastic bags or non-conductive storage containers.
Don’t dispose of batteries in regular trash: Batteries should not be tossed in your regular household trash or recycling bin due to their potentially harmful contents. Use a smart battery recycling container bin instead.
Drop off at a recycling facility: Lastly, find a local battery recycling facility or drop-off point. Many retailers and community centres have battery recycling programs.
Remember, it’s always important to handle batteries responsibly to protect both your safety and the environment.
What is the best container for dead batteries?
Dead batteries should be stored in a dry, cool place away from children and pets until they can be properly disposed of for recycling. It’s best to put them in a clear plastic bag or a non-metal container. This is to prevent any potential leaks or corrosion from damaging surrounding objects. Additionally, it’s a good idea to cover the terminals of 9-volt batteries with electrical tape to avoid creating a short circuit.
As an executive devoted to sustainability, one of your core responsibilities is instituting a designated battery recycling container in your organisation. You’re not only promoting a greener environment but also building your company’s public image. Make a positive impact on the planet today by implementing an e-waste recycling and battery collection program in your organisation. And if you seek battery and e-waste recycling solutions for your company, contact us by filling out this form.
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