household ha z ardous waste
Household battery recycling and disposal Once a battery is used up or no longer useful, the battery’s chem istry will determine how best to dispose of it. Look on the battery’s label or packaging to identify what it is made of, then use this guide to identify the safe disposal method.
Many stores that sell electronics or batteries will accept used batteries. Be sure to call first. Most counties have household hazardous waste (HHW) collection sites. Find yours by contacting
rechargeable batteries: recycle at retailer or hhw site
Nickel cadmium (Ni-Cd)
lithium ion (li-ion)
Nickel metal hydride (Ni-Mh)
single-use batteries: take to retailer or hhw site lithium
Contact your county HHW site for collection options.
∫ Lithium batteries may be reactive. Place each in a separate plastic bag or place non-conductive (electrical) tape over the battery terminals. ∫ Place tape around each button battery.
your county solid waste office, or contact the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency: www.pca.state. mn.us/hhw or call 651-296-6300, 800-657-3864 toll free.
∫ To recycle, check with your local store, or find one by calling the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corp. at 1-800-8-BatterY, or going to their web site at www.rbrc.org. small sealed lead acid (Pb)
Vehicle batteries: take to retailer
single-use batteries: safe to place in trash.
∫ alkaline exceptions: if purchased in 1993 or earlier, take to your HHW collection site.
∫ By law, auto battery retailers must accept up to five lead-acid batteries from consum ers free of charge.
What’s the problem? Each year over two billion household batteries are purchased in the United States to power a variety of products. Some household batteries may contain toxic metals like mercury, lead, cadmium, and silver, which can contaminate our air and water when the batteries are incinerated or disposed of in a landfill. Eventually these metals can accumulate in living tissue and cause adverse health effects.
Battery handling tips ∫ Store batteries in a vented plastic ∫ If storing batteries together, place ∫ Older batteries may rust and leak bucket or sturdy cardboard box. non-conducting (electrical) tape over after long periods of storage. If a Do not place an airtight lid on the terminals or place individual batteries battery appears to be dirty or have a white, film-like substance around container. Gases that vent from in plastic bags to prevent shortthe terminals, use caution when batteries may be trapped and create circuiting. handling the battery, and do not a potentially dangerous situation. ∫ Do not attempt to discharge a touch the dirty area. Place it in a bag ∫ Wash your hands with soap and battery by short-circuiting the for recycling or disposal. terminals. water after handling batteries, or use gloves.
Use rechargeables! ∫ According to the RBRC, these batteries can be recharged up to 1,000 times before a recycling facility takes them apart and their metals are recovered. Like compact fluorescent bulbs, while the initial cost is higher, you save money in the long run.
Get more information on household hazardous wastes, including safe disposal or paints, solvents, yard chemicals, and more. Contact your county solid waste office, or find your local HHW program: www.pca.state.mn.us/hhw or call 651-296-6300, 800-657-3864 toll free.
Minnesota Pollution Control agency