Friday, April 13, 2012

Collection of Used Batteries for Recycling



By Wong Ee Lynn

Batteries contain heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, and nickel, which can contaminate the environment when batteries are improperly disposed of. In landfills, heavy metals have the potential to leach slowly into soil, groundwater or surface water. When incinerated, some heavy metals such as mercury may vaporize and escape into the air, and cadmium and lead may end up in the ash.

Recycling batteries keeps heavy metals out of the soil, water and air, and saves resources because the metals and plastics recovered can be used in making new batteries.

Used batteries are classified as ‘scheduled waste’ due to the harm they could cause to the environment and to human health. There are currently very few facilities in Malaysia that collect used batteries for recycling, and batteries should never be disposed of in normal recycling bins (for paper, glass, plastic and metals) or in charity bins.

Below is a list of the most common batteries and how you should dispose of them:

Automobile Batteries (Lead-Acid Batteries)

These are the most widely recycled batteries as almost every retailer of automobile batteries (auto workshops, battery shops) will collect or buy back used batteries. Reclaimers separate the plastic from the lead and both materials are reprocessed and recycled by battery manufacturers and other industries. A typical automobile battery is made up of 60%-80% recycled lead and plastic.

Cellular Phone Batteries

Most rechargeable cellular phone batteries are small sealed lead acid batteries, and the rest are nickel-cadmium batteries. Fortunately for us, most cellular phone service centres for major cell phone manufacturers/companies (Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, Siemens) provide bins for the collection of used or damaged cell phone batteries. To find out where to send the used batteries of your phone’s particular make or model, visit the website of the particular cell phone manufacturer and follow the public relations and environmental standards links. Failing that, e-mail the Customer Service Department of the phone manufacturer with your query.

Household Dry Cell Batteries

Household dry cell batteries would include alkaline, carbon-zinc, mercuric-oxide, silver-oxide, zinc-air and lithium batteries, both rechargeable and non-rechargeable. Green Living has made inquiries with Alam Flora and was instructed to deal directly with Kualiti Alam Sdn Bhd, which collects, deals with and recycles scheduled wastes in Malaysia. Green Living has made arrangements with Kualiti Alam for the collection of household batteries.

Members are encouraged to set aside all their used household batteries and store them in a dry, safe place, away from water, direct sunlight, flammable materials, children and animals (A lidded jar or container is a good start) and bring them to the MNS Office in Jalan Kelantan, where Green Living has provided a secure bin for the collection of batteries.

At the same time, Green Living wishes to remind everyone that reducing is always a better option than recycling. To reduce your household’s use and disposal of batteries, please heed the following:

1. Buy fewer battery-operated gadgets and gifts. Try to make sure your next gift to someone isn’t a cellular phone, Game Boy, remote controlled car or some other unnecessarily battery-powered device.
2. Buy solar-powered or dynamo-powered gadgets (flashlights, calculators, watches) whenever available. This could also save you money in the long run.
3. Always opt for rechargeable batteries rather than batteries you have to replace.
4. Learn to take proper care of your battery-powered devices (laptops, cell phones, digital cameras) to prevent damage to batteries and devices caused by charging for too long or improperly.
5. Whenever available, use ‘hybrid’ batteries such as rechargeable nickel metal hybrid (NiMH), as they are longer lasting, less toxic and will not discharge quickly when left idle, unlike rechargeable batteries using older technology.


alovelyday365 said...

what is the contact info for kualiti alam? need to find out exactly where to send and how to send the waste.

CP said...

Dear MNS,

I'm trying to find a place to drop-off my old household batteries (I've been putting it off not to dump in regular household waste).

Can I bring them to your office at Jalan Kelantan, off Jalan Damansara? Is there a Battery recycling bin at your office?

Thank you.


~CovertOperations78~ said...

Dear CP,
At the moment, MNS is still collecting used batteries along with recyclables but NOT large electronic appliances. The NGO previously involved in collection and recycling e-waste has used up their funds from the UNDP to run the programme for 2 years. To hand over the used batteries, you need to go to MNS during work hours to drop it off with anyone in the office.
Alternative drop off point would be Ikea Mutiara Damansara, after the checkout area, near the wrapping counter.

Peggy Tan said...

Dear MNS,

I am doing a research topic on battery recycling and I am interested to know more about the battery recycling methods available now. May I know who should I contact to get more information on this? Thanks.


Peggy Tan said...

Dear MNS,

I am doing a research on battery recycling and interested to know more about the current battery recycling methods available in Malaysia. May I know who should I contact to get more info on this? Thanks.


~CovertOperations78~ said...

Dear Peggy,
Please email me at and I will see what I can do to help.
Ee Lynn.

shobith sharma said...

IT Ewaste offers Electronic Recycling, Computer Laptop Recycling, Mobile Phone or E Waste Recycling Services.