On a recent afternoon walk, I was dismayed to find a bunch of used batteries strewn on a sidewalk. I put them into my pocket for recycling at Winskill Recreation Centre in Delta.
Batteries should never be sent to the landfill because of the chemicals that can leach into the ground from the charge that remains in the battery.
As we all know, batteries come in a variety of shapes and sizes and we are energized by their many uses and applications.
Did you know that the first “true” battery was invented in 1800 by scientist Alessandro Volta following a considerable amount of research and experimenting? His invention became known as the voltaic pile, which consisted of pairs of copper and zinc discs piled on top of each other, separated by a layer of cloth or cardboard soaked in brine (i.e. the electrolyte).
Obviously the scope of battery use has greatly expanded since Volta’s era, including the 1997 introduction of the lithium polymer battery.
Batteries have eliminated the need for carrying around long extension cords and for allowing us to use smaller and smaller portable devices.
Batteries play an integral part in earthquake preparation as they are used in flashlights, portable radios, etc.
I recently learned that Feb. 18 is National Battery Day. This day has been set aside to understand the importance of batteries and with their widespread use, to also learn about recycling them appropriately.
Call2Recycle (Call2Recycle.ca) has set up 1,600 locations in B.C. at which any used battery less than five kilograms, and cellphones with their rechargeable batteries, can be appropriately recycled without charge.
Most recreation centres, libraries, London Drugs and major hardware stores accept used batteries.
Batteries should never be left lying around a home in which young children reside as a child might be tempted to put one into his or her mouth. The consequences can be serious.
Take charge and safely recycle your batteries and electronic devices. It is very easy and something we can all do with little effort.
Jean Wightman, Delta