Batteries cause more fires both at home, in garbage trucks, and at waste sorting plants than you might think. Luckily it`s really easy to do the right thing!
It's both easy and important to handle your used batteries the right way. Batteries are referred to as hazardous waste and must always be sent to recycling. No batteries or products containing batteries should ever be disposed of in the waste bin.
This is how you do it:
- Use a can for storing used batteries. The fire department recommends a fireproof can with a lid, e.g. a jam jar, or metal box, or you can use the hazardous waste bin from your municipality.
- Tape the terminals of the battery and put it in the can, then you ensure that the batteries do not short-circuit and start burning.
- Deliver the batteries regularly to a store that sells batteries of the same type, or to the recycling center. Stores that sell batteries are obliged to accept them.
- Larger batteries/rechargeable batteries from e.g. e-scooters, e-bikes, tools, toys, cars, etc. must be delivered to the recycling station or to the store you bought these from.
Did you know that every household in Norway have on average and at any given time over 70 batteries at home?
Sounds like a lot, doesn't it? If you consider all your products that contain batteries, even in equipment that is no longer used, the number may not be so unrealistically high.
Batteries can be found in smoke detectors, remote controls, toys, Christmas sweaters, shoes with led-light, birthday cards with sound, disposable cameras, tools, mobile phones, radios, e-scooters, lanterns, and lights to name a few, and all too often used batteries and electrical products ends up in the waste bin at home.
We have estimated that the inhabitants of Sør-Rogaland throw over three million batteries in the residual waste, every year.
In addition to being a fire hazard at home, in the garbage trucks, or at those who receive your batteries, batteries contain valuable materials that can be recycled to be reused in new batteries. When batteries are recycled, environmentally harmful substances are properly taken care of at approved recycling facilities.
We need your batteries so we can make new ones!
The demand for batteries is huge and growing, and although our household batteries may seem insignificant, we buy over 2,000 tons of household batteries in Norway. That's as much as six Jumbo jet airliners weigh! (Boeing 747)
If we are to manage the future need for and demand for batteries, they must be delivered for recycling. Zinc, cobalt, lithium, and other raw materials can then be reused, instead of having to be extracted from mines on other continents, resulting in large greenhouse gas emissions and destruction of natural areas.
Deliver your batteries for recycling – always!
Source: IVAR IKS, sortere.no
Take a look at some of the hazardous waste we have found in the residual and paper waste! Incorrectly sorted batteries have led to several fire incidents in the municipalities' garbage trucks, and batteries were probably the cause of the fire at the IVAR waste sorting plant in July 2022.