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Battery Drive Challenge

February 2023

HNP Ontario launched our very first event of 2023; a virtual Battery Drive Challenge!


Participants learned about battery disposal and simple sustainable practices they can use in their daily life. They also learned more about their City’s waste management system and how recycling batteries can benefit their local environment.

Over the course of 2 weeks, participants gathered batteries around their house (or anywhere) and recycled them appropriately. They weighed their batteries and took pictures of their measurements. Then they disposed of them by sealing/containing them properly and following their City specific waste management guidelines.

Importance of Battery Recycling

   Hazardous waste

  • Batteries contain acid that is corrosive.

  • If dumped in landfills, old batteries are likely to cause fires when reacting with other materials.

  • A study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency uncovered 139 landfill fires associated with dumping batteries.



  • Batteries are likely to leak in landfills.

  • Leaking acid mixes with soil and groundwater which contaminate the natural resources for all living things.

   Reuse valuable


  • Most batteries are made of mined materials such as lead, steel, zinc and mercury.

  • These materials are finite but still recyclable!

  • Almost 30% of the world's zinc production comes from recycled or secondary zinc and one of the main sources of recycled zinc is batteries.

  • They can be reused for the production of batteries and other electronics.

How to Dispose of Batteries Properly

According to the city of Toronto, old batteries are considered Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) and cannot be placed in your garbage, recycling, or green bin.
To dispose of batteries, they must be placed in a clear, non-conductive plastic bag and sent to the city's Drop-Off Depots.

General Tips for Dealing with Batteries

  • Do not charge a battery excessively. Constantly charging a device could reduce the life of a battery or make it more susceptible to stop working.

  • Keep batteries at room temperature.

  • Stop using the batteries or contact the battery's manufacturer if you notice any of the following signs:

    • Odour

    • Change in colour

    • Noises

    • Leakage

How Improper Disposal of Batteries Affects Human Health

  • Acids and corrosive materials, which are found in batteries, could lead to burns in a human's eye if batteries are not dealt with properly.

  • Nickel and Cadmium, toxic metals found in
    batteries, are considered as carcinogens (any substance that could result in cancer). If these carcinogens react with the air around humans, there is a higher chance of cancerous symptoms affecting humans.

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