Sunday, February 2, 2014

DIY Safe Battery Recycle Container

Recently there was a post going around on Facebook about a house that burned down due to a 9 volt battery's contacts being touched by another 9 volt battery's contacts and the resulting spark leading to fire. Evidently the two of them touching together causes an arc or spark and the recycle bin being full of other batteries and materials was ripe to fuel flames.

Having created an awesome recycle center for my new shouse, I got to thinking about recycling batteries and creating a bin for that as well. While I will be using rechargeable batteries, many products will come with batteries that will eventually need recycled. Even button batteries from watches and children's toys should not go into the regular trash.



I remembered the story from Facebook and decided to take heed of the clear warning it gave. My battery recycle container has a safety feature I have not seen on other battery recycle containers, but seems like common sense. Mine has a roll of electrical tape and instructions for safe recycling. Each battery is to have its contact points covered with electrical tape prior to being deposited in the bin. This will keep the contacts from touching one another and potentially creating an arc of energy, which in turn could cause a battery to explode or start a fire. This simple idea resolves the fear I have of a fire from the contacts and allows for safe recycling. The bin is glass and seals air tight with a metal lid. The glass container will also prevent battery acid damage should some of the batteries leak.

Batteries in landfills are a huge problem. This is just a small step in making our planet a little greener.

Here is how to make your own battery recycle container:

Supplies:



Print out your label. I chose to laminate mine with clear contact paper before cutting it out. I then glued it on the glass using plain white glue. You may want to create a sticker or Mod Podge it on. Tie the roll of electrical tape on to the container.

Click here to download a copy of my label to make your own battery recycle container.

Contact your local municipality to find out where to drop off your spent batteries. You have now done something good for the world today. Recycling is easy and rewarding!