Batteries fall into a variety of categories, including rechargeable, lead-acid, lithium ion, carbon zinc, and alkaline, among numerous others. Proper disposal is extremely important due to the hazardous chemicals and metals these small power sources contain. Some states, such as California, have made it illegal to throw batteries out. If you have a pile of batteries or one big one you need to get rid of, use the following tips to do so safely and responsibly.
3 Tips for Disposing of Batteries Properly
1. Determine If They Are Hazardous or Non-Hazardous
Find out if the batteries you wish to dispose of are hazardous or non-hazardous. Button cell options, such as those in watches and hearing aids, are considered hazardous, as are lead-acid versions, which are typically found in cars. Non-hazardous batteries include nickel metal hydride, alkaline, lithium ion, and carbon zinc, which are often used in flashlights and electronics. Non-hazardous options can be recycled, while hazardous versions belong in the local waste disposal center.
2. Handle Batteries With Extra Care
Put on protective gloves before handling any type of battery, including non-hazardous options. Never break or burn batteries, which is a personal and environmental threat. The Department of Public Works recommends wrapping batteries, especially lithium options or those with more than 9 volts, in masking or electrical tape and placing them in clear, sealable plastic bags before visiting a local hazardous waste or recycling center.
3. Take or Mail Them to the Right Facility
Bring any hazardous batteries to a nearby Household Hazardous Waste Collection site. Earth 911 is a great resource for finding a site close by. If your batteries are non-hazardous, you can drop them off at a local recycling center or grocery store that accepts batteries, or send them to recycling programs such as Battery Solutions. Call2Recycle is another helpful resource.
Marsh Creek is an Alaska Native company based in Anchorage, AK, specializing in environmental construction and telecommunications, including hazardous waste removal and disposal. Call (907) 258-0050 with any waste disposal questions or visit the website for more information.