Batteries are such integral parts of our everyday lives, we often take their proper disposal for granted. However, they require more careful handling than many other household items. If disposed of incorrectly, batteries pose both safety and regulatory risks.
Lithium batteries are the most dangerous, due to the possibility of fires and explosions. They have brought down airplanes as well as destroyed many businesses. To ensure our own proper handling of these volatile batteries, ACTenviro has implemented a Lithium Battery Management Program that goes beyond existing governmental regulatory standards.
As part of this program, ACT requires that generators package all lithium batteries (including button cell-type batteries) in Ziploc bags or tape with clear tape. This allows for proper identification of battery type. Our technicians thoroughly inspect any drums containing lithium batteries to assess their condition. If any batteries are damaged or defective, our DOT SP-16532 permit calls for very specific measures as to how to package and identify them for shipment. Accordingly, price is also higher for recycling these batteries.
Dry cell batteries, such as alkaline, nickel cadmium and nickel metal hydride, do not have to be taped unless they are over 9 volts. Those above 9 volts can be taped with duct tape, as long as the battery type marking is still visible. Each battery type should be packaged separately due to the differences in the required recycling procedures.
All lead acid and wet nickel cadmium batteries must have terminals taped to prevent short-circuiting.
Automotive batteries are not Universal Waste. However, they can be shipped on a BOL using the proper DOT shipping name. If they are shipped on a pallet, they must have cardboard under and over each layer and be shrink wrapped to the pallet (this also applies to sealed lead acid batteries).
At ACTenviro, we take every necessary precaution to ensure the safe transportation and disposal of all our customers’ waste. Please contact your local ACT branch for assistance with any of your environmental needs.
– Julius Hannegan, Project Manager and resident battery expert