Recycling batteries is important for a number of reasons. Batteries can contain chemicals such as lead, mercury or cadmium. When you dispose of them with your normal rubbish, most will end up in landfill where the chemicals they contain may leak into the ground. This can pollute the soil and water and potentially harm human health.
Recycling also recovers some of the materials used to make batteries and these can be used again to make other products and potentially to make new batteries. Recycling can also save some of the earth’s natural resources and save on CO2 emissions by reducing the need to mine new materials.
In the UK we currently recycle 3% of old batteries. The government intention is to increase the battery recycling rate to 45% in the next 5 years (i.e. by 2016).