The recycling of batteries helps to reduce pollution and conserve resources. Recycling starts by sorting batteries into chemistries. Collection centers place lead acid, nickel-cadmium, nickel-metal-hydride and lithium ion into designated drums, sacks or boxes. The broken battery pieces are then placed into a vat, where the lead and heavy materials fall to the bottom and the plastic floats. At this point, the polypropylene pieces are scooped away and the liquids are drawn off, leaving the lead and heavy metals.
One of the major trends in battery recycling is the development of new technologies that can recycle lithium-ion batteries. Another trend is the increasing use of recycled battery materials in new battery production.