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Where to throw waste dry batteries

(Summary description)

Where to throw waste dry batteries

(Summary description)

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     Where to throw waste dry batteries
   A few days ago, a reader sent an e-mail to the "People's Livelihood Through Train" column, asking how to dispose of used dry batteries at home, and can they be thrown directly into the trash can? Or should the battery be sent to the "recycle bin" in the community for environmental protection purposes?
In response, Zhang Junxi, a professor at Shanghai University of Electric Power and deputy director of the Key Laboratory of Electric Corrosion Control and Applied Electrochemistry of Shanghai Universities, said that dry batteries produced and sold in China after 2006 have basically achieved "mercury-free" and no longer contain harmful effects on the human body. Heavy metals that are harmful to the environment. But he also said that to treat waste mercury-free dry batteries as ordinary household garbage, "this is okay, but unreasonable."

 
   Dry battery has achieved "free of mercury"
   In an email, the reader told reporters that there were more than 100 dry batteries of different specifications stored in his home. They were all scrapped because they were not used for a long time. I wanted to throw the battery and other domestic garbage into the trash can, but I was worried that it would pollute the environment. I went out with the battery and found that the "battery recycling bin" that had been placed in the community before was gone.
   According to reports, in 2009, my country’s battery output was 40 billion, accounting for more than 50% of the world. Among them, about 8 billion button-type alkaline zinc-manganese batteries and more than 22 billion ordinary zinc-manganese batteries. Even with the impact of lithium batteries in recent years, the use of dry batteries represented by zinc-manganese batteries is still very large.
The public was once very concerned about the recycling and disposal of dry batteries, but at that time almost all the discussions could not avoid the toxic heavy metal "mercury", because based on the production process at that time, whether it was to slow down the corrosion of the zinc flakes in the battery or prolong it. The battery life is to prevent the deterioration of the electrolyte carrier paste. A certain amount of mercury or mercury chloride must be added to the battery during production. The recycled waste dry batteries are also classified as "toxic and hazardous waste" and processed by professional departments.
After 2006, with the implementation of the national "Regulations on Limiting the Mercury Content of Battery Products", the country has completely banned the sale of alkaline zinc-manganese batteries with mercury content greater than 0.0001% of the battery weight. Mercury". Since the life of dry batteries is generally only 1 to 2 years, dry batteries produced by regular manufacturers on the market are basically "zero mercury batteries".
According to the current regulations of relevant departments, since dry batteries have been "mercury-free", from the perspective of environmental science, the hazards of toxic heavy metals in batteries have been eliminated. Therefore, they can be landfilled together with other domestic waste instead of separately. deal with.   "Holding rich mines, specifically mining poor mines"
   "Throw the battery into the trash can and dispose of it with other household garbage. This is okay, but it is unreasonable." Zhang Junxi said.
There are two main reasons for the "unreasonable": First, although there are no longer toxic heavy metals, when the waste dry batteries are landfilled together with other domestic garbage, other metal elements in the battery, such as zinc, iron, manganese, etc., It will also enter groundwater through leaching. Another more important reason is that waste dry batteries are not only a solid waste, but also a valuable resource rich in a variety of metal elements. "There is no ore in nature that has a metal element grade comparable to that of used dry batteries. While we landfill the used batteries, we continue to dig out natural mineral deposits. Isn't this ‘putting rich ore and specializing in poor ore’?" Zhang Junxi said.
"Why is it difficult to see discarded lead-acid batteries and lithium batteries? Because the recycling of these types of batteries is profitable, manufacturers and sellers are willing to do it. The relevant departments only need to strengthen supervision and continuously improve the recycling and processing links to prevent Non-standard operation will cause secondary pollution." He said, "But unlike dry batteries, if the technical level is not high, you can only recover zinc skin and manganese dioxide from the battery, and the economic benefits are limited."
   Fortunately, after a long period of research, domestic college laboratories have developed a variety of recycling methods, which are only one step away from entering the actual production link. For example, Zhang Junxi and his team have developed a technology that can convert waste dry batteries into high-performance manganese-zinc ferrite.

 
   Call for the establishment of a recycling system
   In order to make good use of the "rich mine" of waste batteries, Zhang Junxi called on the relevant state departments to change the current practice of mixing batteries with domestic waste and establish a complete set of waste battery recycling management mechanisms.
"The distribution of used batteries is decentralized. To concentrate the used batteries in the hands of users in the production base, a complete battery recycling management mechanism must be established to guide consumers to send the batteries to designated locations instead of throwing them away. Completely recycled'."
   According to reports, some developed countries have issued special laws and regulations to establish a recycling and disposal system for used batteries, which has certain reference significance for the establishment of similar systems in my country in the future. For example, Nomura Kosan Co., Ltd. in Hokkaido, one of the well-known Japanese companies engaged in waste battery recycling, can recycle 13,000 tons of waste batteries from all over Japan by placing waste battery recycling bins in shopping malls, schools, and residential areas. Our reporter Ye Songting

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