Interview with an anonymous battery
I live and work in Europe.
I am not married and do not have children but,
phew! my family is very large.
Religion? I believe in you: I believe in people
You have a very bad reputation.
Certainly, and one could say that with reason.
I could pollute by myself up to 100,000 litres of water.
It is, but that will only happen if you abandon me to my fate. Also, as I said, I’m not alone. According to recent data, in Spain approximately 400 million batteries of all kinds are used for consumption annually. That’s more or less between, 8,000 and 9,000 tons.
Run the numbers, I’m everywhere: portable radio, torches, remote controls, remote control cars, dolls and many other energy saving devices that need me to work properly.
Tell me about your toxicity.
Depending on the type of battery it can be made of iron, manganese, zinc, cadmium, lead, mercury, arsenic… in different quantities.
“Future? I don’t want to end up being buried in a landfill
or burned in any way”
If all those hazardous materials are left uncontrolled…
… yes, it would be very dangerous to public health and environment, but, I will tell you something…
Please, tell me.
I’m only dangerous if you forget about me and throw me into the rubbish bin mixed with ordinary wastes, letting me degrade in contact with earth, air and water.
You are alarming me!
No wonder, because abandoned, my carcass is slowly going to deteriorate until, little by little, the toxic materials of my composition will release, enter the water cycle and pollute rivers, aquifers, seas, crops…
Are you a time bomb? Is there any solution?
Of course there are solutions. Note that currently between 55% and 75% of battery materials are reusable.
And I, can I do something to help?
You can do everything! Every year, in Spain, more than 3,000 tons of batteries are collected and recycled, approximately 40% of the batteries used. Many citizens are involved and recycle their batteries, but… they do it especially when, near their home, there are adequate collection points.
A last wish?
Give me a chance! When I run out of battery, take me to your local recycling centre or to a specific collection container. There, they will pick me up and transport me to a suitable place, where they will recycle and reuse me: this will minimise the impact. Subsequently, we will save energy, and recover valuable raw materials…
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