If like me you're a stickler for power-hungry superphones, you've probably gone and bought yourself a spare battery for situations where you might not be able to charge your phone in the office or at home that night. Powering a phone with hardware that could put an accountants desktop PC to shame takes a lot of juice - even if it is just to power your view into the Angry Birds world.
I've got spare batteries for two of my mobile phones. One is a gargantuan Dell Streak 5 and the other, only slightly smaller device is a HTC HD2. Both phones are showing their age now and their big screens and cumbersome processors reduce a battery to empty after two hours of Angry Birds. I often wonder what would happen when I finally get rid of the phones and i've got batteries lying around all over the place with no way to use them.
What's in a battery that makes it so dangerous?
The battery in your mobile phone will use Lithium-Ion technology. According to some knowledgeable big-wigs in Europe, Li-Ion batteries pose a water contamination risk because the battery has metals in it. That's why the European Union has passed a law stating retailers that sell a certain amount of batteries per year should provide a battery recycling point. Most supermarkets and shops that sell batteries now have collection bins for used batteries. Some town halls, libraries or schools may also set up collection points. If you dispose of a battery in your normal bins, they'll be picked out of your rubbish and left in a landfill. The risk here is pollution and contamination, maybe not for you, but in generations to come this sort of activity is really going to take its toll.
The Be Positive Initiative For Old Batteries
If you want to ensure your old batteries (and not just those from your mobile phone) are recycled properly, look out for the Be Positive signs, or similar signs, in shop windows and in stores to find these collection points. You can also visit the direct.gov website (Opens in a new window) to find out about recycling initiatives in your local area.