How Do I Recycle Dewalt 18V Batteries?

DeWalt's rechargeable 18V batteries, which feature a nickel-cadmium power cell, give you the power to take on professional-grade building and remodeling projects without the hassle of an extension cord. With time, however, their electrical capacity diminishes considerably, forcing you to buy a replacement. Rather than risk the deadly cadmium leaking into a landfill, you can have your old battery safely recycled at a high-temperature metal reclamation (HTMR) facility.

Where to Take DeWalt 18V Batteries for Recycling

To recycle your DeWalt battery, simply drop it off at your local designated recycling center. To find the center closest to you, use the Drop-Off Site Locator tool on the Call2Recycle website listed under "Resources." Call2Recycle is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to collecting used batteries for recycling.

Call2Recycle also can help businesses, communities or public agencies interested in joining a battery recycling program. Call2Recycle ships prepaid packaging to groups, and they then fill them with used batteries and mail them to HTMR processing plants. To join or learn more, click on the Call2Recycle link listed under "Resources."

How the HTMR Process Works

First, the battery is loaded into a “thermal oxidizer” chamber that vaporizes all of the plastic, paper and gel, leaving only the steel casing and the nickle and cadmium plates. Meanwhile, the vapors are diverted to a separate chamber where they are totally consumed by flames. The products of combustion are then filtered from the air.

The cadmium plates are purified in a cadmium recovery furnance. Here, a combination of vaporized carbon and water work to reduce the dangerous cadmium ions on the plate’s surface back into cadmium metal atoms. The resulting 99.99 percent pure cadmium metal pieces are crushed into small particles or “shot” and sold to battery manufacturers as raw materials.

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About the Author

A Chicago-based copywriter, Andy Pasquesi has extensive experience writing for automotive (BMW, MINI Cooper, Harley-Davidson), financial services (Ivy Funds, William Blair, T. Rowe Price, CME Group), healthcare (Abbott) and consumer goods (Sony, Motorola, Knoll) clients. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Harvard University but does not care for the Oxford comma.

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