Battery Recycling Information

With over 3 billion batteries sold in the United States each year, it is important that everyone understand the best practices when it comes to recycling batteries. Currently, there is a lot of confusion regarding how to recycle batteries and the best way to dispose of used batteries. This frequently asked questions guide will help you learn more about the proper ways to recycle batteries that will result in a healthier planet for all of us!

Why Recycling Batteries Is Important?

When batteries are not disposed of properly they typically end up in landfills. Over time, improperly disposed of batteries will rot and corrode away, causing hazardous chemicals to leak from the batteries. These chemicals then get into the ground, causing water pollution that can negatively impact wildlife, humans, and the greater ecosystem. Through proper battery recycling practices, toxic chemicals from used batteries can be handled in a responsible way that is healthy for everyone.

Frequently Asked Questions

Rechargeable batteries should NOT be thrown away in the regular trash bin. The reason is because rechargeable batteries are manufactured with heavy metal components that are toxic, especially if they leak out into the ground or water. Therefore, the best practice is to do a search online for, “rechargeable battery recycling near me”, and properly dispose of the rechargeable batteries.

Alkaline batteries are the most commonly used household batteries for appliances, toys, and other consumer electronics. These batteries (when completely used) can be disposed of with normal household trash. Except if you live in the state of California that has passed legislation saying all forms of batteries are hazardous waste.

Many cities and even counties offer free battery recycling programs that will properly dispose of single-use batteries. Therefore, it is best to collect and keep batteries in a safe container where they can be properly recycled at a later time at battery recycling center. Another option is to search online for “Battery recycling near me” to see if there is a local resource nearby.

Best Buy is one of the eco-friendly businesses helping reduce e-waste by accepting rechargeable batteries for proper disposal. However, they do not accept alkaline single-use batteries at this time. For more information on their battery recycling program call 1-800-RECYCLING, or telephone the Best Buy nearest you. 

The first thing to do when looking to dispose of leaking batteries is make sure you protect yourself from potentially toxic chemicals. This can be done by putting on a pair of plastic gloves before touching the leaky alkaline or chargeable batteries. Next scrub away any white buildup on the batteries with an old toothbrush or scrubby. After the white buildup has been removed you will next put vinegar or lemon juice on the battery. Lastly, brush the terminals and let the used batteries dry out completely. If the once leaky batteries are alkaline batteries they can then be safely placed in the normal trash bin (unless you reside in California). If the batteries are rechargeable batteries they should be properly disposed of at a battery recycling facility.

Lithium batteries when not disposed of properly can be very hazardous to the environment which makes it critical people property dispose of the battery commonly found in cell phones, laptops and other consumer electronic devices. By calling 1-877-2RECYCLE you can find a lithium battery recycling near me. Another great idea is to call a popular electronic retail chain store neat you such as Best Buy or Staples for more information on local e-waste or battery recycling. These major retailers chains often provide free recycling programs, or have information about where the closest place to properly recycle lithium batteries is located. 

Alkaline batteries do not contain toxic materials that can contaminate landfills so in most states the single-use batteries commonly found in household electronics can be tossed in the trash. The state of California requires that alkaline batteries be taken to a battery recycling for proper disposal since the state views all batteries as hazardous waste. 

Most consumer electronics use AA or AAA batteries, but once they have been drained of power many people do not know where to recycle the single use batteries. Single use alkaline batteries drained of power can be placed in the regular trash since they do not contain hazardous components that can be harmful in public landfills. However, regulations regarding battery recycling are constantly changing, and in fact the State of California now requires even single-use alkaline batteries to be taken to a proper battery recycling location. Places to recycle single use batteries include many retail outlets such as Best Buy, Staples, and Home Depot. 

Putting a car battery with normal waste is illegal because car batteries have many hazardous materials that can be harmful if released in public landfills. One cool statistic is that car batteries are the most recycled form of battery with an estimated 98% of all car batteries disposed of properly. This is because companies such as Wal-Mart, Autozone and other automotive retail stores require an old car battery before selling a consumer a new car battery. Therefore, those retail stores should first be contacted about car battery recycling as they would have the proper information about where to recycle car batteries. 

First and foremost, lithium-ion (LIB, Li-ion) batteries should never be placed in the normal waste bin. This type of consumer electronic battery needs to be properly disposed of at a hazardous waste facility that focuses on safe disposal of batteries. Safely dispose of lithium ion batteries by doing an internet search for “cell phone battery disposal near me”, or calling 877-723-1297 for more information to safely recycle lit-ion batteries. 

Lithium batteries are now used to power everything from mobile phones to computer tablets. Consumers and businesses should place used lithium batteries in a safe container and take the used cell phone, laptop or other electronic device batteries to a local battery recycling facility. 

Kids toys, television remote controls, alarm clocks and a variety of other household electronics use alkaline batteries. AA, AAA, C and D battery sizes are all popular forms of alkaline batteries used in everyday homes, and all of these different types of alkaline batteries can be placed in the regular trash after they have been completed used. 

Most new laptop batteries are lithium-ion batteries. That means they can not be thrown in the standard household recycling container, but rather need to be disposed of at an e-waste facility. Home Depot, Best Buy, Staples and Lowes are a few of the big retail chains where free battery recycling programs exist even if you did not purchase your laptop at their store. However, it is still recommended to call the store location nearest you to check ahead of time about what laptop battery recycling conditions they might have. 

The most popular household batteries used include AA, AAA and 9Volt. Alkaline household batteries that are completely used can be placed in the trash, but lithium-ion batteries or rechargeable batteries need to be properly disposed. Best Buy has a really great free battery recycling program as well as many home improvement stores such as Home Depot. Another option is to search online for “household battery disposal near me”, to locate a community battery recycling facility.