Properly Disposing of Your Batteries

Not all batteries have special instructions for disposal. Here’s a quick list of the most common types of batteries and how to get rid of them.

Household Batteries

Your most common batteries–the AA, AAA, 9V batteries that you put in your alarm clocks, smoke detectors, remotes–are fine to go in the regular garbage can. At one time, you may have been told that even these batteries needed to be “properly” disposed of, but since the mid-1990s, these household batteries have been made with less hazardous materials; meaning you shouldn’t keep them around as toys or decoration, but in most states, you’re safe to throw them in the trash.

Car Batteries

The batteries that power your vehicle contain lead acid, so your household trash and recycling cans are not approve for safe disposal. You can drop old or dead car batteries at a hazardous waste plant in your area, but in many cases, local auto shops or even hardware stores will take them. Just call first!

Cell Phone and Laptop batteries

Despite how small these batteries are, they’re actually quite hazardous (but don’t worry–not while they’re in your devices). A hazardous waste collection site is the proper place to dispose of these lithium-ion batteries. However, there are some electronic stores, like cell phone retailers or a Best Buy equivalent, that may take them for a recycling program. Call around your area to see if this is offered near you.

For more information on battery recycling near you, check out this article from KFVS and this one from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.


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