How to Properly Dispose of Batteries

A close up image of the tops of multiple sizes of batteries

When batteries in your home die, do you know how to get rid of them the right way? Can you toss them in the trash? There are many different kinds of batteries, ones that go inside the TV remote and others for computers and smartphones. Some of these batteries can contain dangerous and hazardous chemicals that could be illegal to throw away. Keep your home and your community safe by properly disposing of old batteries around the house.

Single-use Batteries

Collection of different types and sizes of batteries in all different colors

The most common household batteries are single-use batteries. These are your AA, AAA, 9V, C-cell, and D-cell batteries, which are used in things like TV remotes and smoke detectors. These kinds of batteries can be thrown in the trash in all states except for California. These batteries are commonly made out of metal that is deemed non-hazardous by the federal government. Is it possible to recycle household batteries? Yes, it is and should be when possible. To find out where you can recycle batteries, start by looking at your town’s website. Chances are you’ll find more information about your city’s recycling services. If you can’t find anything on the web, both Earth911 and Call2recycle offer online resources. Purchasing rechargeable batteries can help reduce the waste produced by single-use batteries and can be used more than 1,000 times!

Rechargeable Batteries

Battery or accumulator for phone on the wooden table, 3D rendering

You’ll find rechargeable batteries in laptops, cellphones, power tools, and other electronics throughout the house. There are different kinds of rechargeable batteries. These batteries can contain chemicals that pollute the soil and groundwater. Lithium-ion batteries are used in many cordless power tools, cell phones, and laptops. Lead-acid batteries are less common but can be found in security systems, mobility scooters, emergency devices, and signs. Nickel metal hydride and nickel-cadmium batteries can be found in two-way radios, digital cameras, and cordless phones. Because these batteries contain heavy metal that is hazardous to the environment, you should never throw them in the trash, it is illegal in some states. Head over to your local office supply store or home improvement store to dispose of these batteries or look online to find your closest recycling plant.

Handling batteries properly can help prevent chemicals from harming the environment. Be sure to check with your local government to find the closest recycling plant and remember to never toss rechargeable batteries into the dumpster.

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