You may not give it a second thought. Dead batteries? Straight to the garbage, right? Sadly, many people don’t realize that throwing away their batteries in their kitchen trash can actually cause environmental damage, fires, and even threaten drinking water in the area. The EPA has recommendations for battery disposal. These guidelines are essential when discarding batteries safely.
Alkaline vs. Rechargeable Batteries
Batteries have evolved immensely over the last several decades. People have replaced the standard household AA, 9-Volt, or D Cell batteries with rechargeable batteries for remotes, smoke detectors, clocks, flashlights, or everyday household items.
Although rechargeable batteries look like a typical alkaline battery, they are a different breed. Instead of throwing these out the first time their charge dies, you can fit these into a port that plugs into an outlet. Manufacturers make these batteries out of metals such as lithium-ion, nickel-cadmium, nickel-metal hydride, nickel-zinc, and even lead! Discarding these improperly can lead to dangerous issues as chemicals end up in streams and landfills.
Proper Disposal of Batteries
When discarding a basic, non-rechargeable alkaline battery, such as the AA, D Cell, or 9 Volt batteries, taping the ends before tossing them can prevent them from becoming hazardous. In addition, place these batteries in a box or safe container. You can then dispose of these in your kitchen garbage.
Rechargeable batteries cannot be thrown away and usually need to be recycled. Before deciding to get rid of these, check the labeling on the battery or seal itself. The packaging on the individual battery will indicate whether or not they can be recycled and should even provide information about manufacturer recommendations and websites.
Locations to Recycle Batteries
There are a few options for recycling batteries. While not the most convenient option, mailing your rechargeable batteries back to the manufacturer is an excellent way to dispose of these. If you don’t have time to do this, here are a few other choices:
- Rechargeable Batteries:
- Drop them off at the Home Depot. You can recycle any battery that weighs less than 11 lbs and has less than 300-watt hours at the store through a program called Call2Recycle. Ask an associate where these bins are located.
- Contact your local landfill or city public works department and ask if they have any special events coming up that would allow you to recycle an old, rechargeable battery.
- Vehicle Batteries:
- If you are trying to recycle a car battery, the easiest way to dispose of it is to take them to any automotive retailer in your area.
It may not be something you think of every day, but please remember to dispose of batteries properly to avoid hazardous waste ending up in landfills, streams, and drinking water. Unfortunately, while we assist with the disposal of several different types of waste, we cannot dispose of batteries with our dumpster rental options. Our team at Roll-Off Dumpster Direct would be happy to help you with jobs that require dumpsters on site. Also, be sure to check back on our blog for more education on proper disposal and recycling.