How To Dispose of Batteries

The problem of how to dispose of batteries is one that concerns many people. Is it safe to throw a battery in the trash? Are there different rules for different kinds of batteries? Why are batteries dangerous?  

These questions and others may come to mind when you think about getting rid of batteries.

Household Batteries

Once disposable household batteries stop working, you should remove them from the appliance or electronic device where they were being used.

Batteries can leak, and if they do, they can corrode your entire appliance.

Avoid leaving batteries in pockets or purses for extended periods of time because there is a possibility they will rupture.

When you remove batteries, dispose of them separately. Even though they may be too spent to power an appliance, individually they can retain enough power to cause a spark when they hit together in an enclosed space. Trash cans are good places to dispose of common household batteries. Just remember to place them in separate trash cans. You can also dispose of batteries by placing them in separate zip-closed sandwich bags.

Rechargeable and Special Purpose Batteries

These batteries contain minerals that can leach into the ground and cause environmental challenges. They include:

  • Camcorder batteries
  • NiCad batteries
  • Lithium
  • Cell phone
  • Silver oxide

These should be taken to a recycling center, donated to a center that collects spent rechargeable batteries or turned in on a town or city hazardous waste collection site.