How To Properly Dispose Used Battery

A 55 gallon drum filled with household batteries. Hazardous Waste Disposal Day, Corvallis, Oregon


Properly disposing of batteries is important for both environmental and safety reasons. Here are some general guidelines for disposing of different types of batteries:

Alkaline Batteries (AA, AAA, etc.):
  • Alkaline batteries are non-hazardous and can usually be disposed of in your regular household trash.
  • However, it's a good idea to tape the terminals (the ends) of the battery with electrical or duct tape before disposal to prevent short circuits.
Rechargeable Batteries (NiMH, NiCd, Lithium-ion, etc.):
  • Rechargeable batteries contain heavy metals and other toxic materials, so they should not be thrown in the regular trash.
  • Many communities have special recycling programs or drop-off locations for rechargeable batteries. Check with your local recycling center or municipality for guidance on where to recycle them.
  • Some electronics stores or battery retailers also accept rechargeable batteries for recycling.
Button Cell Batteries:
  • Button cell batteries, commonly found in watches, calculators, and other small electronics, contain mercury or other hazardous materials.
  • They should be recycled rather than thrown in the trash.
  • Many retailers or electronics stores offer recycling programs for button cell batteries.
Car Batteries:
  • Car batteries contain lead and sulfuric acid, both of which are hazardous materials.
  • Many auto parts stores, service stations, or recycling centers will accept old car batteries