We all know that we cannot throw our spent batteries in the bin because it will affect our environment. Yet only just over half of all batteries in Denmark are sorted correctly and sent for recycling. Therefore, Elretur has launched a new campaign to make it easier to store the spent batteries before they are handed in for recycling. In 2019, we bought almost 4,000 tonnes of batteries in Denmark. 56% are collected and sorted correctly, so that they can be recycled. Unfortunately, the remaining 44% are not. This corresponds to 1,760 tonnes. On average, approx. 60% of the material in a battery is recycled, including iron, lead, copper, nickel, manganese, cobalt, iron, brass, zinc and aluminium. The rest is disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner. This is good business both economically – as it is cheaper to recycle these metals than to extract them as raw materials, and environmentally – because we are protecting nature. It is therefore important that we become even better at sorting our batteries correctly. “We are already well on our way in terms of recycling batteries, but at the same time, there is a potential for a big return if we improve further. Sorting batteries properly is an area where, as individuals, families and companies, we can make a big difference to the environment and contribute to a sustainable consumption of the total resources. Every battery counts,” says Morten Harboe-Jepsen, director of Elretur. Get a battery box. Unsorted batteries typically go in household waste or in with the small combustibles at the recycling centre. Another major source of incorrect sorting is the batteries in e.g. used toys, where the batteries are not removed when the toy is discarded. This also applies to other electronics. In everyday life, many of us do not know where to put spent batteries until they are sent for recycling. That is why Elretur has created a GO-CARD campaign, where you can get your own smart box for storing spent batteries from 540 cinemas and cafes across the country. The box is available as a “regular” postcard in the well-known GO-CARD racks. Take the postcard home and fold it into a box. “We Danes are very environmentally conscious and know very well that batteries must be recycled. Our postcard box is a friendly reminder, and a kind and helping hand in everyday life, helping you put the spent batteries aside so that they do not end up in the bin or remain in that remote-controlled car,” Morten Harboe-Jepsen says. Options for recycling in your municipality How you should sort and hand in your spent batteries depends on several different things including your municipality and type of housing. However, you can always take your batteries to the recycling centre. Click this link if you want to know more about the options in your municipality: https://elretur.dk/farvel-batteri/ Facts: Why batteries must be recycled
- Spent batteries are harmful to nature
- You can help to ensure that useful raw materials such as iron, manganese and heavy metals are recycled
- If they end up in your bin, they will be incinerated, and the good raw materials will be lost
- Batteries that are handed in are sent to plants where the raw materials are extracted and recycled
Facts: 6 tips for batteries
- Do not throw spent batteries in the rubbish bin – hand them in for recycling where the raw materials will be extracted and recycled
- Do not collect large quantities at home. You do not benefit from them – but the environment will, because important raw materials can be recycled.
- Only change batteries when necessary. Otherwise it is a waste of both resources and money.
- Store new and spent batteries separately – then you have an overview of the ones that work and the ones that need to be recycled.
- Remove the batteries from equipment that you will not be using for a long time. That will ensure that they do not leak, which can damage the equipment.
- Keep batteries away from flames – they may explode.
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