How to Properly Dispose Batteries?

How to Properly Dispose Batteries?

How to properly dispose household batteries
How to properly dispose household batteries

It is possible to just throw away your single-use alkaline batteries in the trash but that’s not just a conscious method to dispose of them. Batteries, including single-use alkaline batteries, use loads of different chemicals and materials like lead, cadmium, zinc, and lithium — occasionally mercury, also. Batteries thrown away in a normal trash bin will only be sent to a landfill, where the compounds will seep into the ground. Batteries that are incinerated even have the opportunity for causing air pollution. Plus, there is a great deal of useful goodies within batteries, including substances that can be used to produce new batteries and other elements. That said, here is the absolute best way to recycle any older batteries.


Environmental Hazards of Batteries

Environmental Hazards of Batteries
Environmental Hazards of Batteries

People are using more and more household batteries. The Average person owns about two button batteries, ten ordinary (A, AA, AAA, C, D, 9V, etc.) batteries, and yells out about eight household batteries each year. Approximately three billion batteries are sold yearly in the U.S. averaging approximately 32 per household or ten per person. A battery is an electrochemical device with the Capability to convert chemical energy to electrical energy to provide power to electronic devices. Batteries contain heavy metals such as mercury, lead, Cadmium, and nickel, which may contaminate the environment when batteries are improperly disposed of. When incinerated, certain metals might be released into the air or can concentrate in the ash produced by the combustion process.

Batteries can produce the next possible problems or hazards:


  • Pollute the lakes and streams as the metals vaporize in the air when burned.
  • Expose the water and environment to acid and lead.
  • Contain strong corrosive acids.
  • May cause burns or danger to skin and eyes.

In landfills, heavy metals have the potential to leach slowly to soil, groundwater or surface water. Dry cell phones contribute about 88 percent of the total mercury and 50 percent of the cadmium from the municipal solid waste flow. In years past batteries accounted for nearly half of the mercury used in the USA and more than half of the mercury and cadmium in the municipal solid waste flow. When burned, some heavy metals like mercury can vaporize and escape in the atmosphere, and cadmium and lead may end up in the ashes.


Hazards of Household Batteries

Hazards of Household Batteries
Hazards of Household Batteries

Controversy exists about reclaiming household batteries. Currently, most batteries collected by household battery collection applications are disposed of in hazardous waste landfills. Even stores and chains that have established take-back programs admit that it often ends up in the trash. There aren’t any known recycling facilities in the U.S. that may practically and cost-effectively reclaim all types of household batteries, though facilities exist that recover some button batteries. Battery collection programs typically target button and nickel-cadmium batteries, but might collect all household batteries due to the customers’ difficulty in identifying battery kinds.

This may change now that California has mandated recycling.



Many states have regulations in place requiring some form of battery recycling. California mandates recycling for nearly all battery types.

The U.S. Congress handed the Mercury-Containing and Rechargeable Battery Management Act in 1996 to make it easier for rechargeable battery and product manufacturers to collect and recycle Ni-CD batteries and particular little sealed lead-acid batteries. For all these batteries that are regulated, the action requires the following:

Batteries must be easily removable from consumer products, to make it much easier to Recuperate them for recycling.

Battery Labels must include the battery chemistry, the “three chasing Arrows” symbol, and a phrase indicating that the user has to recycle or eliminate the battery correctly.

National Uniformity in storage, collection, and transport of certain batteries.

Phase Out using specific mercury-containing batteries.


Types and Uses of Household Batteries

Lead-Acid Automobile Batteries

Lead-Acid Automobile Batteries
Lead-Acid Automobile Batteries

Nearly 90 percent of all lead-acid batteries are recycled. Just about Any retailer which sells lead-acid batteries collects used batteries for Recycling, as required by most state legislation. Reclaimers crush batteries into Nickel-sized pieces and separate the plastic components. They send the plastic to a reprocessor for manufacture into new plastic products and deliver purified Lead to battery producers and other businesses. A Normal lead-acid battery contains 60 to 80 percent recycled lead and plastic.


  Non-Automotive Lead-Based Batteries

Non-Automotive Lead-Based Batteries
Non-Automotive Lead-Based Batteries

Gel sealed and cells lead-acid batteries are Popular To electricity industrial equipment, emergency lighting, and alarm systems. The same Recycling procedure applies as with automotive batteries. An automotive shop or a local waste agency can take the batteries for recycling.

Household batteries

Household batteries
Household batteries

Dry-cell batteries include alkaline and carbon dioxide (9-volt, D, C, AA, AAA), mercuric-oxide (match, some cylindrical and rectangular), silver-oxide and zinc-air (button), and lithium (9-volt, C, AA, coin, button, rechargeable). Normally, each individual in america discards eight dry-cell batteries each year.

There are two Kinds of batteries:

(1) Main those that Can’t be reused, and

(2) Secondary also called “rechargable” those that can be reused.


Battery Facts and Stats


Americans Purchase nearly 3 billion dry-cell batteries every year to power radios, Toys, mobile phones, watches, laptop computers, and portable power tools.

Indoors A battery, heavy metals react with chemical electrolyte to produce the battery’s power.

Wet-cell Batteries, which include a liquid electrolyte, commonly, power automobiles, boats, or motorcycles.

Nearly 99 million wet-cell lead-acid car batteries are manufactured each year.

A car Battery contains 18 pounds of lead and 1 pound of sulfuric acid.


Recycling and Disposal

  • Mercury was phased out of certain types of batteries in conjunction with the “Mercury-Containing and Rechargeable Battery Management Act,” passed in 1996.
  • Recycling batteries keeps heavy metals out of landfills and the air. Recycling saves Resources because recovered plastic and metals could be used to create new batteries.
  • Household Batteries contribute several potentially hazardous compounds to the municipal Solid waste stream, including zinc, lead, nickel, alkalines, manganese, cadmium, silver, and mercury.
  • In 1989, 621.2 heaps of family batteries were disposed of at the US, that’s double the total discarded in 1970.
  • In 1986, 138,000 tons of lead-acid batteries were disposed of at the US.
  • Regular Flashlight batteries can be disposed of in the trash (generally, some Mercury-oxide And silver-oxide button batteries are usually collected by jewelers, Pharmacies, and hearing-aid shops who sell them to companies that recover the metals.
  • In 1993, 80 to 95 percent of auto batteries were recycled.


What you can do

Batteries are constantly being reformulated – check the labels

Source Reduction Changes in Household Batteries

Read labels. Mercury reduction in ordinary alkaline Batteries began in 1984 and continues today. During the previous five years, the industry has decreased the whole quantity of mercury use by about 86 percent. Since 1992 most alkaline batteries are produced with “no mercury added”. Some batteries such as the alkaline battery also have experienced approximately a 97 percent mercury reduction in the product. Newer alkaline batteries might contain about one-tenth the amount of mercury previously contained in the normal alkaline battery. Some alkaline batteries have zero-added mercury, and lots of mercury-free, heavy duty, carbon-zinc batteries are available on the market.

Mercuric-oxide batteries have been gradually replaced by new Technology like silver-oxide and zinc-air button batteries that contain less mercury.

Researched. Alternatives for example cadmium free nickel and nickel-hydride system are being researched, but nickel-cadmium are not likely to be totally replaced. Nickel-cadmium batteries may be reprocessed to reclaim the nickel. However, currently approximately 80 percent of all nickel-cadmium batteries are permanently sealed in appliances. Changing regulations may result in easier Access into the nickel-cadmium batteries for recycling.


Prevention of Household Battery Waste

To reduce waste, begin with prevention. Beginning with Prevention generates less or no leftover waste to become potentially hazardous waste. The following are steps to take to stop family battery waste.

–Check to see if you already have the batteries on hand before buying more.

–When Suited to the task buy hand operated items that function without batteries.

–Look For the batteries which have less mercury and heavy metals.

–Consider Rechargeable batteries for some needs, but bear in mind that they also comprise Heavy metals like nickel-cadmium.


Alkaline batteries

Alkaline batteries
Alkaline batteries

As of 2015, the state of California is the only country in Where you have to recycle over-the-counter consumer alkaline batteries (AAA, AA, C, D, 9volt, etc.) . In California it is illegal to throw any sort of battery (including disposable single-use batteries) from the garbage. Proven cost-effective and environmentally safe recycling procedures are not yet universally available for alkaline batteries. A couple of communities offer recycling or collection of alkaline batteries, contact the regional authorities for disposal clinics in your area.

Alkaline batteries can be safely disposed of with regular Household waste, since the Mercury-Containing and Rechargeable Battery Management Act passed in 1996 that phased out the use of mercury in alkaline batteries. That means they are not nearly so toxic when disposed in landfills. Alkaline batteries have been composed primarily of common metals steel, magnesium, and manganese which don’t pose a health or ecological risk during normal use or disposal.


Here’s the bottom line:

  • Never dispose of batteries in fire because they could explode.
  • Small quantities may be safely and legally (except in California) place in your trash can.
  • If you have large quantities of alkaline batteries (state dozens or hundreds or more) to get rid at once get in touch with your trash Disposal Company or municipal waste Duisposal section for instructions.


Rechargeable Batteries

Rechargeable Batteries
Rechargeable Batteries

Rechargeable batteries result in a longer lifetime and use fewer batteries. Nevertheless rechargeable batteries still contain heavy metals like nickel-cadmium. When disposing of rechargeable batteries, recycle if possible.

The use of rechargeable nickel-cadmium batteries may reduce the number of batteries going into the waste stream, but might increase the sum of heavy metals entering the waste stream unless they are more efficiently recycled. As of 1992, the proportion of cadmium in nickel-cadmium batteries had been greater than the proportion of mercury in alkaline batteries, therefore substitution might only replace one heavy metal for a different, and rechargeable batteries do use energy resources in recharging.

Rechargeable alkaline batteries are available together with rechargers.


The Way to Recycle Your Cells

The Way to Recycle Your Cells
The Way to Recycle Your Cells

Recycling of non rechargeable batteries is becoming more Trivial, but it may still be a challenge to find a local drop-off location. The battery Manufacturers has financed a joint recycling centre. To find a center near you that will take them, click here! (In the United States or Canada))(Which types do they take? Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd), Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH), Lithium Ion In cordless power tools, cellular and cordless phones, notebook computers, Digital cameras, two-way radios, camcorders and remote control toys.


If you cannot find a Location above

Carry the rechargeable batteries to some of the participating retailers. From the U.S.: Alltel, Batteries Plus, Best Buy, Black & Decker, Cingular Wireless, The Home Depot, Milwaukee Electric Tool, Orchard Supply, Porter Cable Service Center, RadioShack, Remington Product Company, Sears, Staples, Target, US Cellular, Verizon Wireless, and Wal-Mart. And in Canada: Battery Plus, Bell Mobility, Canadian Tire, FIDO/Microcell, Future Shop, The Home Depot, Home Hardware, London Drugs, Makita Factory Service Centers, Private Edge/Centre du Rasoir, RadioShack Canada, Revy, Sasktel, Sears, The Sony Store, Telus Mobility and Zellers.



Consumers can help by limiting their electronics purchases to things that carry the RBRC emblem on their packaging. Furthermore, they can find out where to shed old rechargeable batteries (and even old mobile Phones) by assessing RBRC’s website. Also, many electronics stores will take back rechargeable batteries and deliver them to RBRC free-of-charge – assess Together with your favorite retailer. RBRC then processes the batteries Using a thermal Recovery technology which reclaims metals such as iron, nickel, cadmium, lead And cobalt, repurposing them for use in new batteries.

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