How Do I Dispose Of A 18650 Battery?
Do you have a bunch of dead 18650 batteries (or any other kind of batteries) that you don’t know what to do with? When batteries die, it’s imperative that you dispose of them in as safe and environmentally-friendly a manner as you can. Here we’ll discuss different ways to dispose of your batteries and places you can go to recycle them.
For vapers that use replaceable batteries, disposal should be a key part of your vaping routine. Since you’ll constantly be using, switching out, and replacing batteries, inevitably some of them will lose their ability to charge your vape and die out just like any other rechargeable cell.
The typical lithium-ion cell has a lifespan of about 300 charge cycles if placed on your charger's lowest power setting before it's fully depleted. Run your cells until they're stone dead, or use a "quick charge" setting and they might last half that long. None of us are perfect, so if you're using the same batteries every day don't be surprised if they begin to lose a little "oomph" after, say, six to ten months. But when that happens, how do you get rid of the old cells?
Since 18650s are considered hazardous waste, the last thing you'll want to do is to throw them in the trash or regular recycling bin. The easiest way to get rid of them is to find the nearest store that has a battery disposal or hazardous waste collection zone and drop them off there. From there, the store or waste site will safely recycle the batteries for you.
There are many stores that will take batteries. You can find recycling places at most local grocery stores, which often have a specific area for recycling. Home improvement stores like Home Depot or Lowe's also usually have dedicated battery recycling bins near the entrance, and you might have luck at your local auto parts store. There are also specialized stores that specifically take batteries and nothing else. For the nearest dropoff locations, you can check your local listings at Earth911 or Call2Recycle.
One thing to keep in mind - these locations might not be able to take entire mods with non-removable integrated battery packs. It's still worth a try, though, as they may be able to point you toward someone capable of recycling them. Don't, however, try to disassemble a fixed-battery mod on your own to harvest the cells.
For those curious about what happens after you bring them to a waste management site, the batteries are recycled using a specialized "room temperature, oxygen-free" mechanical process during which the battery components are separated into three end products.
From within your lithium ion 18650 batteries, recyclers extract cobalt, lithium salt concentrate, stainless steel, copper, aluminum and plastic. All of these materials are recycled and reused for other products. This is the safest and most environmentally conscious way to get rid of your batteries. It also provides more material for future batteries to be made.
Battery disposal is as important a part of your vaping routine as anything else. It’s critical for the environment to recycle your batteries and not to just throw them out. Finding the most appropriate places for them is an important part of being a vaper.