12. April 2022

Reduce Waste, Recycle Batteries Reduce Waste, Recycle Batteries

Centralized collection is one of the best ways to ensure that batteries are recycled properly. Used batteries contain valuable raw materials such as iron, zinc, manganese, and nickel.

Proper disposal of batteries is important.
Proper disposal of batteries is important. © Colourbox
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Many institutions and departments around our University already put out battery collection boxes. Extra boxes (designated as Trockenbatteriekartons) can be ordered from Section 4.1 using the form for the disposal of chemical waste. 

Section 4.1—Waste Management and Hazardous Materials Unit—will not only provide the cartons for your use, they will also organize the interim storage of the used batteries until they can be picked up by a recycling company.

More information on this can be found in the waste disposal guidelines.

Environmental tips
  • Avoid batteries whenever possible. Instead look for devices that plug into the normal power mains or run from a battery-free source, such as solar.
  • Use rechargeable batteries. A rechargeable battery can be recharged approx. 200–1000 times in its lifetime, depending on its design and how it is used. Each recharge cycle eliminates the need for a pair of single-use batteries.
  • Buy single-use and rechargeable batteries without toxic heavy metals.
  • Never throw out used batteries in your normal house trash, but rather always properly in the recycling boxes.

Even better than recycling: Avoid waste in the first place!

All EU member states are committed to waste disposal based on a five-tier system. Recycling is only the third of those tiers. At the very top: avoiding waste from the start. Tips on how to reduce the waste flow can be found from a variety of sources, including Bonn’s municipal waste company BonnOrange

To preserve resources, we as a society should try to consume less and use items for as long as possible. “Reuse” is the key word—in Bonn, there are a variety of second hand channels for good quality products, as well as options such as repair cafes for fixing defective products, and models for sharing, leasing, and lending consumer goods.


The five-tier waste hierarchy.
The five-tier waste hierarchy. © bonnorange
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