Consumer Batteries

We all depend on batteries for a variety of power sources in our daily lives.  What would we do without our arsenal of cell phones, laptops, power tools, remote controls and other wireless devices?  So many home office and entertainment devices, lighting and tools we depend on at home or school are powered by consumer batteries. Today, even our children have become tremendous consumers of battery energy!   Regardless of the size or type of battery you have at home, Retriev can manage the disposal and recycling of all your consumer batteries, safely and efficiently.

Small, light, and crucial to daily living, consumer batteries are used in almost every aspect of daily living at home, school or office.  Consumer batteries are generally used to power smaller portable electronics like laptops, cell phones, power tools, remote controls, video game systems, and all other devices that require energy without a cord.

The types of consumer batteries available are as diverse as their applications and uses. Alkaline, Nickel Cadmium, Nickel-Metal Hydride, Lead Acid, Lithium Ion and Primary Lithium.  Each battery type has unique properties, which require unique safety measures and recycling processes.  Only Retriev can handle them all.  Responsibly.  Safely.


Nickel Cadmium (NiCad)

NiCads were one of the first rechargeable batteries to be widely adopted by consumers looking for solutions to power their portable devices.  These batteries were at one time widely used in portable power tools, photography equipment, flashlights, emergency lighting, and hobby R/C.

However, the larger energy capacity of Nickel-Metal Hydride batteries, as well as the potential environmental hazards involved with the improper disposal of the Cadmium components, have contributed to a decrease in the sale of these batteries.

Consumer NiCad batteries contain approximately 18% Cadmium,  a heavy toxic metal that requires that highest care during the battery recycling process.  If you’re  looking for an environmentally safe solution to manage your Nickel Cadmium batteries, Retriev is uniquely permitted with proven processes to safely manage your end-of-life Nicad batteries.

Certified by the EPA as the Best Demonstrated Available Technology for Cadmium recovery.

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Nickel-Metal Hydride

NiMH batteries are also rechargeable.  While they have similar characteristics, NiMH have replaced NiCad batteries in many applications that require reuseable and renewable power, because a NiMH battery can supply 2-3 times the energy capacity of a similarly sized NiCad.  NiMH batteries are thought to be a safer energy option, as they do not contain cadmium, a toxic component found in NiCad batteries.  Applications for NiMH batteries include power tools, laptops, cell phones, and even rechargeable alternatives to standard AA, AA, C, and D alkaline batteries.

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Alkaline

Alkalines are a popular variety of non-rechargeable battery that are used throughout the home and office, and are commonly thought of as AA, AAA, C, D and 9V models.  You’re familiar with these handy battery packages everywhere you shop and probably throw them in your shopping cart to make sure you have energy on hand to power all of your household toys and wireless devices.  Alkalines are composed of Zinc and Manganese Dioxide, and derive their name from the Alkaline electrolyte used to create the chemical reaction that generates energy.  Over 10 billion individual Alkaline batteries are manufactured every year on a worldwide basis; as a result, Alkalines represent approximately 80% of the batteries manufactured in the U.S.

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Primary Lithium

Often confused with rechargeable Lithium Ion batteries, Primary Lithium batteries are entirely different in both their chemical composition and intended applications.  Primary Lithium batteries contain pure Lithium metal, rather than Lithium alloys, which has the positive effect of creating a very high energy density, and the negative effect of making the batteries far more reactive.  In addition, unlike Li-Ion batteries, Primary Lithiums are not rechargeable and are only used in single-use applications.  Such applications may include digital cameras, smoke detectors, alarm systems, automated defibrillators and other applications where high energy and a long shelf-life are a priority.

Primary Lithium batteries can range in size from small button cells to battery packs that are similarly sized to car batteries.  However, due to their very high energy capacity and highly reactive nature, all Primary Lithium batteries should be managed, stored, and treated with the utmost care.  You can trust Retriev to make sure that all handling and recycling is managed responsibly, from cradle to grave.

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Lead Acid

Lead Acid batteries are the oldest form of rechargeable battery, having been invented by a French physicist in 1859.  Despite being much heavier than today’s more advanced NiMH or Li-Ion batteries, Lead batteries still account for approximately 40-45% of worldwide battery sales due to characteristics of long-life and high power.  Applications for Lead Acid batteries tend to include ones where weight is not a major consideration, such as starter batteries for cars, or stationary backup power for desktop computers, data center servers and lighting systems.

Lead Acid batteries are composed of two highly hazardous components - Lead and Sulfuric Acid.  Both are 100% contained and treated at our recycling facilities, responsibly and safely.

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Li-Ion

Li-Ion is one of the newest rechargeable batteries to be developed. They have become widely used throughout the portable power marketplace due to the high energy capacity in a relatively light weight package.  The term Li-Ion does not refer to a single and unchanging battery composition; instead, it refers to numerous variations that simply share the characteristics of creating energy from the movement of ions from Lithium alloys.

Lithium Cobalt Oxide (LiCoO2) batteries offer high energy density in a condensed package, making them perfect for portable consumer electronics like cell phones and laptops.  Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries do not store as much energy as cobalt-based batteries, but are capable of releasing energy with greater force, which makes them ideal for high strength applications such as performance power tools.  Other variations exist, each with their own unique energy characteristics, including Lithium Manganese Oxide (LMO), Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (NMC), Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide (NCA), and Lithium Titanate (LTO).

Li-Ion batteries can be dangerous under some conditions due to their high energy capacity and potential for reactivity.  In addition, most Li-Ion batteries use a flammable electrolyte which creates a risk of fire should the batteries be abused.  For that reason, proper management of these batteries is crucial.  When you trust Retriev, you know that your Li-Ion batteries will be treated and disposed of safely and responsibly, with the highest level of environmental integrity.

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The Big Green Box

The Big Green Box is a program that Retriev offers to consumers, companies, municipalities and other generators as a low cost and easy way to provide electronics and battery recycling. Customers may purchase our self-contained Big Green Box at a very friendly price, and we then cover all of your shipping, handling and disposal fees for no additional charge.

The Big Green Box program includes a U.N. certified shipping container and pre-paid shipping to our recycling facility, including all required battery recycling fees. With The Big Green Box, it’s not necessary to pay large fees to waste management companies, nor fill out complicated paperwork.  We do it all!

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