Battery & Electronics Recycling for Earth Month

Battery & Electronics Recycling for Earth Month

Businesses continue to look for more ways to integrate sustainability practices in every aspect of operations. With April being Earth Month, we caught up with our electronics recycling partner, Veolia, to learn more about why businesses need to properly handle and recycle certain materials such as batteries.

“Some batteries are very hazardous and can even spontaneously combust if not handled correctly,” Fred Ribelli of Veolia Electronics Recycling Division, says. “It’s just the right thing to do to recycle batteries.”

Liquids like lead acid can seep from car batteries, and no one wants those in a dumpster or landfill. Additionally, workplaces have experienced fires from lithium batteries coming into contact with paper in a trash can, which may have been avoided with the proper handling.

How can businesses recycle batteries and electronics?

The good news is that Veolia handles every type of battery in its recycling programs and makes it very easy for businesses to implement the program. A significant amount of metals make up the construction of the batteries, and those metals can be recycled. Oftentimes, recycled nickel-cadmium batteries become new batteries. Forklift and car batteries may be rebuilt and reused.

“Most companies have developed sustainability programs, and these programs have an impact on the circular economy,” Ribelli says. “Companies are taking into consideration the end-life of material and their own products. Most U.S. companies are becoming very proactive in recycling, avoiding landfills. There are no rebates for doing what’s right, but the safety issue is very important for the workplace.”

How are batteries recycled?

Battery & Electronics Recycling for Earth MonthThrough HP Products, businesses obtain a prepaid RecyclePak® to collect batteries, lamps and ballasts. These packs include the safety liners and all paperwork required to ship battery and electronics recyclables directly to one of four national Veolia locations. Once the items reach Veolia:

  • They segregate batteries by like-battery types. Some are sent to approved facilities across the U.S. for special handling.
  • Recoverable components are extracted and moved to where they can be repurposed.
  • Byproducts that are useless are typically incinerated in a hazardous waste incinerator.

Ready to recycle?

Individuals can also obtain a recycle box, and Ribelli recommends that consumers turn to their local community for household hazard collection days, typically held once or twice each year to rid of paints, solvents, batteries and electronics.

If you would like to learn more about implementing a battery and electronics recycling program at your workplace, contact HP Products today!

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