Did you know that…
Household batteries are generally safe to use, but can pose potential environmental risks when disposed. When batteries are tossed in the trash and dumped in our landfills, they can decay, crack, or leak, releasing toxic metals , such as cadmium and mercury. If the metals pass through the landfill, they can ultimately pollute our soils and ground surface waters.
Make sure to completely use up your batteries. When they are spent, they can be taken to the HHW Facility or to one of the Bulb and Battery Take Back Program collection sites, where they will be packaged and transported for recycling or safe disposal.
- Alkaline (AAA, AA, C, D)
- Carbon Zinc
- Lithium (coin, button, AA and nine-volt )
- Rechargeable (Nickel-Cadmium)
- Silver Oxide (button cells)
- Zinc Air (button cells)
How do I safely dispose of my batteries?
- Package your batteries in either a paper bag or a plastic container.
- Do not use metal containers. Batteries that come into contact with metal can short out which can cause them to rupture or leak.
- Put your rechargeable and button cells in a separate container from alkaline batteries.
- Change all batteries in a device at the same time! The weakest battery determines the overall performance.
- Never attempt to recharge an alkaline or non-rechargeable battery. It may cause the battery to rupture or leak.
- Never burn batteries. They could explode, release harmful gases and leave toxic metals in the ash.
- Don’t mix different battery types in the same appliance. It will reduce the life of the rechargeable.
- Unlike alkalines, nickel-cadmium batteries can currently be recycled. Bring all spent ni-cads to the HHW Facility or to a Bulk & Battery Take Back location.
What can you do to help?
- Purchase fewer batteries. Look for toys, radios, calculators, and watches that rely on solar power instead of batteries. You will save money and help the environment.
- Whenever possible, power devices with electrical current rather than batteries. Plug in that radio when you are at home or in the office.
- Zinc air button cells can be used instead of mercury oxide button cells in some applications. Zinc air cells contain much less mercury than mercuric-oxide and can out-perform the mercuric oxide cells.
- If you must purchase disposable alkaline batteries, buy cells that contain low mercury.
- Now you can make a difference by being a smart shopper and disposing of your batteries properly.