Laptops are a necessary part of our life, but they’re not meant to last forever. Often we face many problems with different parts of it. Whenever you notice that your laptop battery is holding less than 25% charge of its maximum capacity or overheating, you should think of replacing the old battery with a brand new one. What do you do with the old battery then? Do you know how to dispose of a laptop battery properly?
Knowing how to dispose of a laptop battery is very important. As laptop batteries contain corrosive materials, they may end up in landfills and cause severe harm to our life and the environment if not disposed of correctly. It is even illegal in some parts of the world to throw batteries here and there. So you understand how much it is essential to dispose laptop batteries properly.
This article will guide you on how to dispose of laptop batteries in the right way, when to dispose of them and why you should do these.
How to Understand If You Need to Dispose Of Your Laptop Battery?
There are some ways to understand that your battery is worn out and you need to replace it with another one.
Here’s how you will understand that your battery needs replacement:
• Produces Excessive Heat:
When the battery is running, a slight increase in heat is usual. To regulate and dissipate the surplus heat, your laptop features fans and heat sinks. When your battery dies, your PC may begin to generate more heat, which your fans cannot keep up with.
If you hear a lot of fan noise, lightly touch the bottom of your laptop computer to test if it’s hot. If you find that your laptop is becoming hotter, this could indicate that your battery is nearing the end of its life. Taking it to a professional repair shop at that time may be a smart idea so they can test your battery and determine if you require a replacement.
• Loses Capacity to Charge:
If your laptop battery does not charge when plugged in, it may need to be replaced.
• Shutdowns and Short-Run Times:
If you find yourself constantly returning to the charger or bound to your desk because your computer needs to be charged, you probably need a new laptop battery. A fully charged laptop battery should give you roughly 4 to5 hours of usage time. There are several factors that influence how long your battery lasts between charges. The number of programs you have open, the brightness of your screen, and whether you are watching a video or listening to music all impact battery life. If your computer goes down unexpectedly, it could be due to a malfunctioning battery, and you need to dispose of it.
• Operating System Shows Warning:
When batteries approach critically low levels of capacity, both Windows and Mac operating systems feature a warning.
Windows: Microsoft implemented a battery life warning function in Windows 7 and later. When your battery’s capacity is low enough, Windows will notify you that it needs to be changed. Over the battery icon, a red “X” will emerge.
Mac: If you click on the battery icon in the top menu bar of your Mac, it will provide you additional information about the battery’s current status.
If your battery has a problem or is nearing the end of its useful life, it will display one of three notifications. It’s time to make a move if you see the words “service battery,” “replace soon,” or “replace now.
How to Dispose of a Laptop Battery?
Step 1: Find A Recycling Center Nearby:
• Make use of a recycling center in your area. Many recycling centers and garbage disposal facilities feature electronics sections where you may properly dispose of electronics like old laptop batteries. You can identify local recycling centers by searching for “recycling centers near me” or “List of E-waste Collection Points” on Google and contacting them to check whether they have facilities for recycling laptop batteries.
If they have, then collect their contact number and call them during office hours. Make an appointment for a representative to come out and pick up the units if the agency provides this service. Alternatively, you can take the batteries to their place. They will recycle laptop batteries after receiving them from you.
• Take advantage of the manufacturer’s recycling program
Several laptop manufacturers have a recycling facility where you can send off your old laptop batteries, and it will be recycled for free. Check with the manufacturer of your laptop to see if they have a program like this. Some manufacturers, such as IBM, also offer a mail-in recycling service. They happily provide battery recycling services.
If you bring your Lenovo batteries to one of Lenovo’s retail locations, they will be recycled. Manufacturers such as Apple, Toshiba, Sony, Acer, and Dell take their branded old laptops and recycles them for free.
• Battery banks are an excellent way to dispose of your used rechargeable batteries properly.
Often government bodies arrange this. You can drop them off at a battery bank and have your laptop batteries recycled. You should be able to locate information on the nearest battery bank to you online. Alternatively, you can get in touch with your local government.
• Make use of a recycling collection program.
Those who are unable to get to a local recycling center can take advantage of a variety of recycling programs. Enter your postcode on the Gov website page for recycling collection schemes, and the page will take you to your local council’s page for more information on recycling collection. Local community center often arranges such programs.
• Check to discover if your local electronics stores recycle laptop batteries.
All types of batteries are accepted for recycling at many large retail stores, libraries, office supply stores, and home improvement stores. You can find out if this is an option for you by checking online, calling, or stopping in.
Popular retailers that take batteries for recycling include Home Depot, Best Buy, Sears, Staples, Lowes, and Radio Shack.
If you don’t have access to a recycling facility near your home, use a mail-in program. There are a variety of national programs available, and your state may also have some possibilities. Two national sites that accept shipping laptop batteries for recycling are Big Green Box and Call2Recycle.
You can check online for additional information.
Some programs are free of cost, while others require payment. Before you sign up for a program, be sure you understand the packaging and shipping requirements.
Step 2: Make Your Laptop Battery Ready:
1. The laptop’s battery should be removed. Even if your laptop is no longer functional, it must be recycled separately from the battery. The majority of laptop batteries are found on the base. You may be able to access it by releasing a flap, or you may need to use a small screwdriver.
1. Use clear tape or masking tape to secure the end terminals. Any existing transmission or leakage will be prevented as a result of this. The battery’s terminal is the portion that connects to your computer to transfer power.
1. Place the battery in its resealable plastic bag or Ziploc lag if you don’t have a tape. If it leaks, it won’t come into contact with anything else this way. Keep it somewhere cold and dry until you’re ready to take it to the recycling center.
Even if you have multiple old batteries to recycle, keep them separate and don’t stack them on top of one another.
If you already have a replacement battery, you can put the dead one in that box.
Why Is It Important to Dispose of Laptop Batteries?
Recycling laptop batteries is more than just a good idea – it’s the way of tomorrow. The advantages that come with recycling your old batteries are endless, here are a few of the advantages of recycling laptop batteries:
To Avoid Health Issues:
Laptop batteries can seriously harm human health if not disposed of properly because, by nature, damaged laptop batteries are hazardous materials. Lead and powerful corrosive acids inherent in batteries can cause burns to our eyes and skin if they are released into the environment. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, toxic metals present in batteries, such as nickel and cadmium, are proven human carcinogens. Any substance that functions as a cancer-causing agent is referred to as a carcinogen. We risk acquiring malignant impairments when these substances interact with our air and water. Lead, another dangerous metal contained in batteries, has been connected to severe medical difficulties such as developmental and neurological impairment and congenital disabilities. According to research conducted in California,
Due to excessive quantities of cobalt (average 163 544 mg/kg; = 62 897; limit 8000), copper (average 98 694 mg/kg; = 28 734; limit 2500), and nickel (average 9525 mg/kg; = 11 438; limit 2000), all lithium ion batteries are categorized as dangerous.
Lessen Water, Soil, and Air Pollution:
Batteries that have been depleted are thrown away and wind up in landfills, where they degrade and leak. That’s how the chemical substances of the battery mix up with soil. The crops that are grown there contain hazardous elements instead of healthy ones. Both humans and animals consume these crops.
Lithium ion batteries can start fires in landfills that can burn for years. As a result, the harmful compounds discharged into the air harm human health and contributed to global warming. The vaporized form of poorly exposed batteries is also caught in the atmosphere, polluting lakes and streams as rain.
Many offices and industries unconsciously dump used batteries in water. This causes water pollution and risks the life of every being on this earth. Recycling is a great way to do your part in reducing the amount of waste being sent to landfill.
To Avoid Food Chain Disruption:
When batteries are thrown here and there, the chemicals in batteries leak into the earth, contaminating groundwater and surface water. When our ecosystems are contaminated with battery chemicals, thousands of aquatic plants and animals are harmed. This disrupts the food chain.
To Avoid Fines:
If you dispose of laptop batteries incorrectly, you could face severe charges. To avoid these fines, make sure you recycle batteries with a trustworthy company that follows all of the rules and regulations.
Preservation of Non-renewable resources:
Recycling your old laptop battery is an easy way to save natural resources, such as minerals and metals. Lithium-ion, nickel-cadmium (NiCad), and nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries are common in laptops and contain recoverable cobalt, lead, cadmium, steel, etc. These materials can be used for the production of new electronics and batteries, as well as in the manufacture of paint, metal plating, and the steel industry. By recycling laptop batteries, you can contribute to saving energy and thus saving precious resources which are used to generate electrical energy.
Reusing old products to make new ones is a great way to help the environment.
Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions:
By recycling, you are doing everything in your power to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save our environment for future generations.
Here you can see batteries used in different industries:
Nickel Cadmium Battery:
• Nickel, Steel, Cadmium these materials are recovered from it.
• After recycling, these batteries are used in Metal Plating, Steel Industry, Batteries (restricted use).
Nickel Metal Hydride Battery:
• Nickel, Steel these materials are recovered from it.
• After recycling, these batteries are used in Steel Industry.
• Cobalt, Steel, these materials are recovered from it.
• After recycling, these batteries are used in Electronics, battery, paint manufacture, Steel Industry
This is why every laptop user and industry must dispose of all their batteries using a professional recycling service.
How to Repurpose a Laptop Battery?
If your laptop is out of date, but the health condition of the battery is good, then you can use it in many ways.
• Internally, most laptop battery packs are made up of lithium cells. This can be used to power a bicycle lighting system.
• Make a power bank out of your old laptop battery.
• Flashlights’ batteries can be made from laptop batteries.
How to Remove and Dispose of a Swollen Battery?
Swollen batteries have a loose or stretchy covering, are more rounded than square and puffy. This happens if the battery’s interior layers do not retain appropriate separation. Lithium-ion batteries generate electricity through a chemical reaction. As the battery ages, this chemical process may not complete fully, resulting in gas formation and a swollen battery.
• Before removing your swollen battery from the laptop computers put on hand gloves, wear glasses and long tongs.
• Take out your battery and keep it in a fireproof container. Make sure that no flammable materials come in contact with the battery.
• Consult any e-waste page, and they will guide you.
Lithium batteries can explode or catch fire. Remove a swollen battery from an electronic device with extreme caution and at your own risk. If you have any doubts about your ability to do so safely, turn off and isolate the device immediately, then seek the advice of a professional repair technician.
Old laptop batteries are not some regular waste. They are considered hazardous waste, and safe disposal of them is crucial to protect our environment. We all should be careful so that such electronic waste can not make its way to landfills. Throwing them in the trash will create tremendous health risks. We also should try to limit the use of single-use batteries; instead, we should use rechargeable batteries. We can use rechargeable batteries multiple times.