Pro-tip: Although this article focuses on recycling and disposal of batteries, the end of the article has information on how to get rid of your old electronic gadgets like old laptops, phones and cameras too.
We’ve all been there. your gadget stops working because the battery is dead. So, you go out, buy some new ones and change them.
Now, you got an old useless battery in your hand and you’re not sure what to do with it.
On the battery, it clearly states that we shouldn’t throw it in the bin. So, what do we do with them then?
SINGLE USE BATTERIES
Technically, single-use batteries, such as the ones you normally use for your clock, tv remote, flashlights, children’s toys and other small electronics are SAFE to be disposed of in the bin, as long as they aren’t the rechargeable type.
This is because single-use batteries (that don’t contain mercury, a highly poisonous chemical) are now made of common metals that have been deemed non-hazardous.
There is an exception though, all button cell batteries, like those used in watches, and car batteries, are hazardous and should be disposed of like rechargeable batteries (a point we’ll get to later).
HOWEVER, single-use batteries CAN ALSO BE RECYCLED.
There’s a ton of useful materials inside dead batteries, including materials that can be used to make new batteries.
Rechargeable batteries can also be commonly found in the home, in mobile phones, digital cameras, power tools, as well as laptops and other more powerful electronics.
Rechargeable batteries DEFINITELY CANNOT be thrown in your trash.
This is because they contain heavy metals that are hazardous to the environment.
Pro-tip: You can reduce the need for disposing of single-use batteries by buying only rechargeable batteries which can be used over 1,000 times before they become useless (save the environment AND your money!)
Before you take your batteries to the recycling center, you should take a couple of minutes to prep them for safe and convenient recycling.
Prepping single-use batteries:
- Tape the ends with non-conductive clear tape to prevent current transfer (which can lead to accidental fires)
- If you don’t have tape, store them in a plastic or cardboard container in such a way that they can’t move around (kinda like how they’re packed when you buy them).
Prepping rechargeable batteries:
- Remove the batteries from their electronics. Dead laptops have to be recycled separately from their dead batteries. This isn’t required for small electronics like cellphones or iPod’s though.
- Cover the terminals with non-conductive clear tape.
WHERE TO RECYCLE
There are actually a lot of places in Malaysia to send your batteries and old electronics for recycling.
In the Klang Valley, famous places include:
1. IPC Shopping Center
Besides the basic recyclable items, the IPC’s Recyclable Waste Drop Off Station is also a collection point for out-of-life mercury content light bulbs and batteries.
For more info, you can visit their website.
IKEA will actually pick up your old electronic appliances when they deliver your order to your house. You just need to let them know and unplug and prepare your old appliance for pick-up.
Meanwhile, you can drop off your old batteries at their customer service counter, as long as they’re the same type they sell i.e AA, AAA, and rechargeable batteries (they accept all brands, not just the IKEA ones).
They don’t accept car or industrial batteries or any batteries that can pose as a hazard, such as ones that have burst or are leaking.
Their recycling service is completely free.
For more info, you can visit their website.
3. One Utama
One Utama started their e-waste campaign in April 2019, and it allows you to exchange your old batteries and electronics for ONECARD UPoints.
They accept batteries, cameras, tablets, mobile phones, and laptops
For more info you can check out their Facebook post below or visit their Facebook page.
4. Sunway Velocity Mall
Besides the usual paper, metal and plastic, the shopping mall also has recycling bins for electronic waste. All you gotta do is visit the mall and literally chuck it into the recycling bins. Not complicated at all.
5. Outside Klang Valley
If you can’t get to any of these places or live outside the Klang Valley, The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission launched an e-waste recycling initiative in August 2015.
The initiative involved setting up a bunch of e-waste recycling bins ACROSS THE NATION. Seriously, there are bins EVERYWHERE.
For the full list of bin locations according to state, visit their website here.