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UPR’s Molecular Center to head used battery collections for a day

The event is part of the center’s Earth Day activities.

The University of Puerto Rico’s Molecular Center is set to celebrate Earth Day on April 22 by hosting a battery collection event for recycling from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at its facilities in San Juan. 

The event will provide a drop-off area and a drive-thru option, making it accessible for the public to responsibly dispose of various types of batteries.

Accepted batteries include AA, A, C, D, 9-volt — either alkaline, zinc-carbon or lithium — as well as button or coin-type, and rechargeable Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd), Lithium Ion (Li-ion), Hydride and small-sealing nickel metal (Ni-MH), Nickel-Zinc (Ni-Zn) and Lead-acid (Pb) types.

The initiative not only promotes community involvement in environmental conservation but also aims to mitigate pollution by safely disposing of hazardous waste. It seeks to reduce the amount of toxic waste entering landfills and prevent hazardous chemicals from contaminating groundwater.

“We wish to contribute to the issue of conservation and carry out affirmative actions that promote a change in our daily and consumption habits. This event is an invitation to raise awareness about environmental conservation and sustainability, but also an opportunity to educate us all on the subject,” said Pearl Akamine, a spokesperson for the event’s organizing committee.

During the event, the Molecular Center will also provide educational opportunities, with scientists and university students sharing insights into their research. The event “is a step in promoting the sustainable development goals of the United Nations, particularly in ​​health, education, climate action and the development of alliances,” event officials noted.

Batteries may contain harmful metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, nickel and silver. Some may contain valuable critical minerals such as cobalt, lithium and graphite that can be recovered and reused. Though rare, batteries can cause fires even if they appear “dead” or discharged.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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