Euromonitor market research group estimates by 2021, America will have 55 million adult vapers. That’s a lot of vaping devices. More so, that’s a lot of vape batteries.
Vape batteries are functional for a specific period. After, they become worn out and retire. The 18650 cells have been multiplying along the streets and beaches as rubbish. It is a great concern for environmental conservation.
Replacing your vape batteries will be part of your vaping journey as a vaper. You must dispose-off vape batteries in a safe and friendly way. Today we’ll look at recycling of vape batteries, but first, let’s understand what vape batteries are?
Vape Batteries: What Are They?
Vaporizer’s consist of 2 parts: the atomizer/chamber and the battery. The battery is the heart of the vaporizer. It powers your vaporizer to function as intended. Your vaporizer could either be using rechargeable or non-rechargeable batteries.
Vape batteries consist of lithium-ion cells. On average such vape batteries have a lifespan of 300 cycles. After that, their performance will decrease significantly. Power storage will be sub-optimal, and it will be unable to supply enough power to atomize.
Today in the market, vape batteries are in three categories: ICR, IMR, and hybrid. Depending on your vaping frequency, you can decide which battery is suitable for you.
The standard lithium-ion battery on most vaporizers is the 18650 battery. Lithium-ion batteries have lower internal resistance and can support high-end power devices like vaporizers. This is why you can vape on the go.
Even though lithium-ion batteries have more benefits, reckless handling of them could harm the ecosystem. To better understand this, let’s examine the chemical composition of lithium-ion cells.
The lithium-ion battery has plastics and chemicals like manganese, cadmium, nickel, mercury, and lead. A chemical reaction between the contents generates electrons that power the device.
Are They Hazardous?
The standard way for disposing of rubbish or garbage is in landfills. If vape batteries are in landfills, they release harmful chemicals to the environment. Heavy metals of lead, mercury, nickel, and cadmium are introduced into the ecosystem.
Heavy metals contaminate the soil, and the ground becomes poisonous for agricultural activities. These chemicals will find their way to underground water reservoirs. The water supply system will soon contain traces of toxic metals.
Nickel and cadmium are cancerous and cause different types of cancer to humans. Exposer to heavy metals like lead will cause neurological and developmental damage. Congenital disabilities are linked to lead exposure. Mercury is highly poisonous; in high dosages, it can lead to death.
Fires in landfills help the emission of toxic fumes into the environment. Mercury vapour is extremely poisonous. The release of these chemicals into the compound endangers the existence of life.
Vape batteries are hazardous waste, for that they should be disposed of responsibly.
To Recycle or Dispose
Do you have any worn out vape batteries in your possession? If yes, then this is how to get rid of them:
Disposing them to bin trash is a BIG no-no. Due to the nature of lithium-ion cells, pressure and heat can cause them to spark and even explode. Lithium-ion batteries are the leading cause of fire outbreaks in recycling trucks.
To safely dispose of, you need to do the following:
First, ensure they have no charge whatsoever, then cool them down. Ensure it stays at colder temperatures. The next step is to submerge the batteries in cold saltwater. They should keep this way undisturbed for at least two weeks. Ensure they are secured tightly with a lid. After the two weeks, wrap the batteries with a newspaper and dispose of as trash.
You should note, not every state allows disposing vape batteries in trash bins. As of today, California is the only state that has banned disposing of batteries in trash bins.
Disposing vape batteries this way is a headache. There is a more straightforward way to do it.
Did you know that you could recycle vape batteries? Yeah, this is true. So, why go through all this hassle when there is a more straightforward way.
Recycling is the best method of saving the environment from toxic disposal. With recycling to reuse, we reduce the need for consumption of raw materials. The ecosystem will stay undisturbed, and wildlife will be conserved.
Recycling requires less processing energy than processing raw materials.
How to recycle Vape Batteries
The recycling of lithium-ion batteries is in a specialized room. The recycling room maintains an oxygen-free environment at room temperature. The cells undergo a mechanical process of crushing. Vape lithium-ion batteries are split into three components:
- Cobalt, cadmium, nickel, mercury, manganese as lithium concentrate
- Stainless steel
- Plastic, copper, and aluminium.
The extracted contents are grouped into their respective categories and shipped back to the manufacturing. The materials are reused to make new vape batteries.
You want to get rid of dead vape batteries safely and effectively? Recycling it is.
Where to Recycle Vape Batteries
As a vaper, you can take advantage of recycling programs available. Vape manufacturers, states, grocery stores, and electronic businesses run some recycling programs.
Best buy- electronic retail is at the forefront of recycling batteries. Since lithium-ion batteries have the same composition, they will accept lithium-ion vape batteries. Locate your local Best Buy store and drop those old vape batteries.
Home improvement stores have recycling programs. Home Depot and Lowe’s stores have sections where you can drop off those worn out vape batteries. Some local vape auto parts do collect vape batteries for recycling. You can try your luck there.
Other organizations pushing for the recycling of lithium-ion batteries are superstores, supermarkets, and grocery stores. The organization will accept your vape batteries. Municipalities have established e-waste collection centres. It was after banning of disposal of rechargeable batteries as thrash.
The e-waste collection centres are so efficient, all you have to do is drop your vape batteries and be on your way.
Call2Recycle and Earth911 collect lithium-ion vape batteries, to recycle and reuse. How they work is, you either call or do a simple search, and they will direct you to the nearest drop-off point. These locations might not receive an entire mod with a non-removable integrated battery. If they can’t accept such batteries, they will direct you to centres capable of recycling them.
One thing to remember, do not to try to dis-assemble a fixed-battery mod to harvest the cells.
Replacing vape batteries is an integral part of a vaping routine as anything else. Vapers who use replaceable batteries will be replacing them often. On average, 6-8 weeks, you will need a brand-new set of vape batteries.
As a vaper, you should play a part in conserving the environment. With a single act, drop those 18650 batteries at a collection for the recycling centre. It is a considerable step to saving the environment.
So today, identify a location where you can drop-off those worn-out batteries. With each replacement, mother nature will be flourishing.