Batteries Waste

The Underrated Benefits of Battery Recycling 

The waste crisis stands out as a pressing problem of recent times. Would you agree with any less? The detrimental impacts of waste on the ecological balance and well-being of the human populace are not unknown. Climate change, a baneful spike in greenhouse gases, adverse respiratory disorders, health hazards, loss of biodiversity, and more; the list of odds continues. The good news, though, is that a growing awareness around recycling and proper disposal of waste works in favour of the ecosystem. Unfortunately, recycling alone is not powerful enough to roll back the harmful effects of inappropriate waste management. Circular economy proves to be a robust solution instead.

The concept of circular economy 

Simply put, the circular economy is a redesigned and more sustainable model of production and consumption. Besides prioritising optimum conservation of natural resources, the initiative aims to keep resources and products in a closed loop for as long as possible. The circular economy concept seeks to reduce the growing amount of waste. As expansive as it sounds, natural resources are finite too. By refurbishing and putting resources into maximum use, waste generation subsides naturally. In short, circular economy emerges as a more strategic, robust, and effective solution at scaling down waste crisis. 

What about battery waste? Is it threatening to the ecology? 

Speaking of waste, plastic and electronic waste stand out as paramount. Did you know that piles of batteries and scraps that plague landfills are just as hazardous? Hence, the focus on battery waste recycling is just as significant to driving clean energy systems into operation. Much like e-waste, batteries contribute to the growing waste stream. 

Lead-acid batteries, electronic batteries, atomic batteries, and more. Batteries are available in various types and kinds. However, lithium-ion batteries are the most recent and widely used innovation.

Owing to the light weight and striking power of the batteries, the lithium-ion variants have crawled their way into almost every household and commercial establishment. These are rechargeable and store as much as 150 watt-hours in every kilogram, unlike the formerly used lead batteries which store just 25 watt-hours. The growing craze for these batteries also explains the increased dump of power cells in the scrapyards. Unfortunately, trashing batteries mindlessly defies the standard norms of battery recycling in India

Tossing out batteries does more than just clog landfills. How often have you heard that batteries burst into flames? The chemicals, or electrolytes, in batteries are flammable and highly sensitive to temperatures. Result? It breaks out into widespread fires. What’s worse? The fire is difficult to extinguish and spreads in the blink of an eye. Discarding batteries poses a threat to environmental sustainability and, of course, human health. For example, batteries release baneful gases like carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide when they overheat and fire up. Also, the abundance of chemicals in power cells like lithium, manganese, nickel, and cobalt contaminates the soil and sullies the aquatic bodies. 

The desperate need to conserve natural resources involves addressing the life-cycle of batteries. If you haven’t realised it already, batteries pack metals and other valuable materials that can be restored, processed, and upcycled for further use. 

Let’s look into the benefits of battery waste recycling. 

1. Dwindle the effects of global climate change

Too much heat and overexposure of chemicals catalyse unwanted greenhouse gas emissions, a leading cause of global warming. Conserving the batteries and prolonging their use significantly steps down the waste pile. 

2. Conservation of natural resources 

It might surprise you to know that designing batteries involves rigorous mining of virgin and natural resources. For instance, mining and processing a metal-sulfide ore is needed to acquire certain metals for a battery. The aftermath? Mining releases quantitative measures of sulphur dioxide that cause harmful acid rain. Batteries recycling cuts-down the stress on natural ore mining. 

3. An economic edge 

Why fritter away batteries and clog up dump fields when upcycling the same could reward you with an economic advantage? Wondering how? Well, battery waste recycling slows down the mining of scarce resources. Also, salvaging and reprocessing the batteries makes way for forward manufacturing of the power cells, curbing the production costs by leaps and bounds. Recycling enables companies to fix competitive pricing of products. 

Disposing of batteries on the curb side does appear easy. But, what’s easier is recycling and stretching the use of batteries. Karo Sambhav, a leading "Producer Responsibility Organisation" in India, collaborates with governments, enterprises, individuals, and alliances to advocate responsible battery recycling in India. The company endorses an EPR-driven waste management system to collect, process, and recycle batteries.

Karo Sambhav collaborates with leading organisations to jointly develop industry frameworks, standards, governance mechanisms, systems and processes that advance the transition to circular economy. know more about our alliances.

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