By John Dillon, VP Marketing, 22 Nov, 2022
So many of us are trying to live our lives more sustainably, whether this is making more conscious choices with our purchases of goods so they can last longer, or offsetting our carbon footprint after taking a long-haul flight.
But, a more sustainable world requires more than this, and recycling batteries can contribute considerably to sustainability goals.
Why should we recycle our batteries?
Recycling batteries, just like our cardboard, foil, plastic, and other materials is an excellent way to reduce the amount of waste in landfill, and also ensures that we are reducing the number of raw materials being mined and processed to make new batteries. We already live in a world of excess, and recycling batteries is one of the ways we can contribute sustainably and look after our planet.
Some batteries are made of toxic heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, lithium, and mercury, and when they reach their “end of life” status, recycling these batteries allows for these heavy metals to be extracted and used in other industries or products.
When heavy metals such as these go into landfills or leak into our ecosystem and pollute it, we have lost use for these metals, but we are causing often irreparable damage.
Accessibility equals sustainability
But, the age-old conundrum is still the same. To achieve better sustainability in our homes, cities, and countries, we need better access to recycle our batteries.
If these options aren’t available at domestic dumps or recycling plants, individual citizens are less likely to be incentivised to recycle their batteries.
On a commercial scale, the situation is much the same. If we compare the ease of access for organizations and cities alike to recycle cardboard and plastic, there is ample technology and information for this to run like clockwork. However, when looking at battery recycling in isolation – ease of access still needs to be worked on.
There are three key things that can be implemented to promote this on a larger scale:
#1 Effective marketing
Knowledge is power, and if you aren’t marketing and educating people on the importance of battery recycling, they’ll continue to (at a domestic and a commercial level) dispose of their batteries in a non-sustainable, and potentially harmful way.
#2 Partnering with retailers
Battery recycling companies should look to create partnerships with retailers and install bins at as many points as possible. Ease of access equals sustainability, so setting up multiple recycling points should be prioritised.
#3 Government Involvement
Local councils and government officials need to work together to bring awareness to the importance of battery recycling. From a local level, having these conversations and showing support for recycling initiatives are the first steps to improving accessibility.
How smart recycling technologies can help
To make this countrywide process efficient, companies are using smart recycling technologies to aid them. The whole point of sustainability is to ensure that energy isn’t being wasted, and that companies have ample manpower and time to be able to run successful recycling programmes.
The beauty of smart recycling is that it allows for efficient, data-driven waste collection, enabling city managers and organisations to view real-time which bins are full of batteries. That way, routes can be planned, manpower can be allocated and there is very little room for resources to be wasted.
Superfy have partnered on a number of city and countrywide initiatives to ensure better battery recycling.