All batteries contain toxins that can contaminate soil and water. When damaged or improperly disposed of, they can even start fires at the local recycling facility and put workers at risk. While old batteries should never be put in any curbside bin, they can be recycled if disposed of properly.
Many curbside recycling programs accept household batteries (A, AA, AAA, C, D and 9-volt) bagged and on top of the cart. Check your city’s program. Additionally, household batteries can be dropped off for free at household hazardous waste facilities, public libraries, and at many hardware stores and pharmacies. Click here for local drop-off options.
These batteries, which are often the rechargeable kind, are stamped with “Lithium” or “Li” or “Li-ion”. Please tape over the ends of these batteries before recycling as per instructions above. Left uncovered, they can cause fires if they come in contact with other batteries.
Toys with Batteries
Broken toys with batteries must not be put directly into curbside bin. If in good shape, consider donating or try to repair if possible. If not, please remove batteries before placing the toy in your garbage cart. Broken toys with batteries that can’t be removed (rechargeable and non-rechargeable) are considered e-waste and must not be put into any curbside bin.
Cell Phones & Cell Phone Batteries
If in working condition, sell or donate. If not, and the battery cannot be removed safely, they should be treated as e-waste and recycled properly. Click here for local drop-off options.
Opt for Rechargeable
Most single-use batteries can be replaced by rechargeable ones, and can often save you money in the long run. Our fact sheet provides additional details on when and where it's good to use rechargeables.
Conserve Battery Life
Try conserving the battery life of your electronics so you can get more use out of those batteries. Turn off battery-powered devices when they’re not in use, and avoid exposing electronics to cold conditions.
Visit Call2Recycle.org for more information on battery recycling and disposal.