There are two basic categories of batteries, which are known as non-chargeable batteries and chargeable batteries. The difference between both these types is that chargeable ones can be put through a battery recycling process and reused. On the other hand, you cannot recycle the non-chargeable ones.
The thing with the chargeable type is that they consist of many different sorts of materials, which, upon recycling, can form different raw materials that are used by the manufacturing industries. The most common components of all such batteries are mercury, lead, nickel hydride and nickel cadmium. To begin with, the insulation material and plastics are initially separated from the batteries through gas fired thermal oxidizers. After that is done with, they are then process through heat treatment furnaces that use vast quantities of energy so as to produce the end product.
Recycling and waste management of batteries is as easy as that of glass, plastic and paper, but the sad part is that less than five percent of these are put through the process now a days. There are quite a bit of shops and supermarkets these days that have actually put up collection boxes for people to drop off their used batteries. Collection points are even set up by libraries, town halls and schools.
All of these efforts have been taken to make battery recycling as convenient as possible. This means that no one can claim that they do not recycle because it is a very inconvenient process. All you now have to do is carry out a bit of online research to find a collection point near you and you are good to go. Now, moving on to the type of batteries these can be recycled. To begin with, there are button ones. These are basically small circular cells that are placed in hearing aids and watches. After being put through the process, they release silver oxide or mercury oxide, which is easily reused in the manufacturing of new ones. Although not commonly advertised, the fact is that pharmacies and jewelers would be more than glad to take expired ones from you.
Then there are car batteries. Believe it or not, but in certain countries, it is a legal obligation over companies that sell them to help in the recycling process of expired ones. For this reason, it is fairly easy for you to give your old ones to them and they would gladly handle the whole process. They usually tend to have contacts with waste management companies that can melt down their plastic components and make new ones out of the lead. The plastic is also used for the production of new products.