What happens to batteries when we recycle them?
Because of the heavy metals they contain, household batteries are one of the most polluting items that can be sent to landfill.
Instead, under the European Battery Directive, manufacturers and importers must prevent batteries from being sent to landfill sites and fund the collection and recycling of used batteries instead.
You can recycle all types of batteries at your local recycling centre. We have four recycling centres in Belfast:
- Alexandra Park - 180 Alexandra Park Avenue, BT15 3GJ
- Blackstaff Way - 1 Blackstaff Way, BT11 9DT
- Ormeau - 6 Park Road, BT7 2FX
- Palmerston Road - 2-4 Palmerston Road, BT4 1QA.
Before they are recycled, batteries are first sorted into various types as each type is recycled differently.
Lithium and alkaline household batteries (AA, AAA and 9V batteries) are part-recycled in the UK, and then sent to plants abroad for the rest of the process.
Other types of battery are sent abroad, as the UK does not currently have plants that can recycle these.
Car batteries are shredded and their acid removed and disposed of according to hazardous waste regulations. The lead is then melted and reused to make more batteries.