Recycling Batteries: Everything You Should Know

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Did you know that if you do not recycle batteries the toxic materials inside of them can be released and cause health threats to humans? If you have been guilty of disposing of batteries incorrectly and are wondering what you should do with them, you are in the right place. We have put together this quick guide to share the ins and outs of recycling batteries.

Keep reading to learn more about battery recycling.

1. Disposing Alkaline and Zinc-Carbon Batteries

These are the most common batteries found in things like flashlights, remote controls, children’s toys, etc. There are some drop-off locations in local stores where you can safely recycle and dispose of these types of batteries. 

Keep in mind that these batteries are not always considered hazardous waste because of their size and in most states you can dispose of alkaline and zinc-carbon batteries in your regular garbage. The EPA still recommends sending these used batteries to a battery recycler. 

2. Lithium Single-Use Batteries

Sometimes these batteries are difficult to distinguish from alkaline batteries but they should say lithium on the side. You can opt to bring these batteries into a specialized battery recycler such as Most recycling centers will offer takeback services or hazardous waste collection programs. 

With these types of batteries, you want to place each battery in a separate plastic bag or put non-conducive tape over the terminals. If it is a button-cell lithium battery you can cover the entire button with non-conductive tape. 

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The reason you want to cover these batteries is that they might spark and cause a fire if the terminal ends touch or if the battery becomes damaged while it is being moved. It is imperative that you do not accidentally put lithium batteries in the trash because you can cause a serious fire and put others in danger. 

3. Lead-Acid Auto Batteries

Sometimes auto batteries have up to 18 pounds of lead and one gallon of corrosive lead-contaminated sulfuric acid. You might find these batteries not only in cars but also in snowmobiles, boats, golf carts, wheelchairs, and motorcycles. You can contact the battery manufacturer to see if they take their old batteries back to dispose of them.

If the manufacturer does not offer a take-back program you can contact a household hazardous waste collection program in your area to dispose of them properly. Make sure to always follow the warnings and instructions found on the outside of the battery. 

Also, never ever put these batteries in the trash or in recycling bins. 

Now You Know More About Recycling Batteries

We hope that now that we went over the ins and outs of recycling batteries, you can make informed decisions next time you have batteries that are no longer working to power up your electronics. 

Did you find this article helpful? Feel free to browse around for more household tips and tricks. 

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