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Batteries can accept, store, and release energy on demand. This amazing power is already making alternative energy sources such as, solar, wind, and hydropower more reliable and desirable. While batteries will play a key role in creating a more sustainable world, batteries also pose environmental challenges.

Reduce the impact batteries make to our environment by recycling them! Don’t just put them in your home or school recycle bin, though. This is because batteries are not eligible for curbside recycling. Here is how to find a certified battery electronic recycler near you.

Organize, publicize, or participate!

You can help your community by organizing, publicizing, and participating in a battery recycling collection day. By partnering with certified recycler, you can rest assured that this recycler follows the local and federal laws to avoid battery-related fires and handles the batteries expertly to keep people safe.

Handle batteries safely as you collect them:

  1. Each rechargeable, heavy duty, super heavy duty or lithium-type battery or battery pack should be placed in its own plastic bag.
  2. Each “button” or “pill” battery must be taped on both sides unless they can be secured in their original packaging.
  3. Lead acid batteries are handled separately by the recycling experts.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends that batteries be recycled at a qualified location. According to state and federal laws, certain kinds of batteries MUST be recycled because some contain materials that are classified as “hazardous.” Lithium batteries are made from “critical minerals.” Lithium is a limited resource and it need to be treated like one. The easiest way to maintain natural resources and keep our environment clean is by carefully recycling batteries.

Have you every thrown a household battery in the trash?

While recycling the battery is a better choice, some regular household batteries such as zinc-carbon and alkaline batteries can be disposed of in the trash in most places. However, it is not wise to dispose a lot of them in one bag. Taking your batteries to a certified battery recycler will ensure that some components of the battery will be reused and those that cannot, will be disposed of properly.

Additional Resources

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Contact the ACS Office of Science Outreach