Computers, Laptops & Tablets Accessories & Hardware How to Properly Dispose of Batteries Steps to battery disposal and recycling by Robert Silva Writer Robert Silva has written about audio, video, and home theater topics since 1998. Robert has written for Dishinfo.com, and made appearances on the YouTube series Home Theater Geeks. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Robert Silva Updated on June 01, 2020 Accessories & Hardware The Quick Guide to Webcams Keyboards & Mice Monitors Cards HDD & SSD Printers & Scanners Raspberry Pi Tweet Share Email While you should always recycle lithium batteries at Home Depot or somewhere similar, some alkaline batteries can be simply tossed in the trash. Learn how to dispose of old batteries for iPhones, PCs, and other electronics properly. Chepko, iStock/Getty Images Plus Discarding Single-Use/Non-Rechargeable Batteries The most common battery type is the single-use/non-rechargeable alkaline battery, which comes in the AA, AAA, C, D, 9-volt, and button cell (watch) sizes. If you have alkaline batteries that were made after 1997, you may be allowed to dispose of them along with your other garbage as they don't pose a toxic landfill danger under EPA standards, but battery disposal requirements also vary by state. New Jersey and Georgia are examples of states that allow the disposal of alkaline batteries in the regular trash; however, in California, all batteries must be recycled. Recycling Rechargeable Batteries Rechargeable batteries used in camcorders, smartphones, laptops, and other devices present additional issues regarding toxicity if disposed of in the trash. As a result, they must be recycled and not just discarded with other garbage. Common types of rechargeable batteries include: Lithium-Ion (LiOn)Nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cad) Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH)Nickel Zinc (NiZn) Before recycling, make sure the battery can no longer be recharged. If you wish to recycle a rechargeable battery that still accepts a partial charge, make sure it's totally discharged before recycling. If you don't need the battery charger anymore, it should also be recycled. Lithium-Ion rechargeable batteries should never be placed in the trash or in curbside recycle bins as they could pose a fire danger. How to Prepare Batteries for Disposal or Recycling Before discarding your batteries, cover the battery contacts (especially the positive side) with non-conductive masking or electrical tape. Alternatively, you can put each battery into a small plastic bag so that the contacts don't touch other batteries. This is especially important for any batteries that may be leaking. Make sure you use electrical tape since Scotch tape is prone to static electricity and doesn't always stick very well. If you have a large number of batteries, after taping the contacts, put them in a non-conductive plastic or cardboard container for easier and safe transport to a local electronics recycling center. Where Can You Recycle or Dispose of Batteries? Check online for options in your specific location for disposing or recycling batteries. Enter keyword phrases into a web browser search engine, such as: "Recycle batteries near me" or "Recycle batteries (your city or county name)." Earth 911 also offers an online search engine for battery disposal and recycling locations. Select cities or counties may also allow you to put old household non-car batteries into a plastic bag or container and place it separately on top of (or next to) the other weekly garbage/recycling container for pickup. There are national battery disposal/recycling options that may provide local drop-off points as well. Stores Where You Can Recycle Batteries Some of the following retailers will take certain batteries to be recycled: Best Buy (rechargeable only)Home Depot (rechargeable only)IKEA (also accepts alkaline and other single-use batteries)Lowes (rechargeable only)Office Depot (rechargeable only)Staples (rechargeable only) Look for local community e-waste disposal events and check if they include battery recycling opportunities. Battery Disposal Recycling by Mail If you want to ship your old batteries to an outside location, here's a listing of possible choices: Battery MartBatteries Plus (also has some physical locations)Battery Recyclers of AmericaBattery SolutionsCall2Recycle (also has some physical locations)EZ On The EarthEasypak (sells a container that you fill up with return shipping instructions)Raw Materials (mostly Canada) Some of these options are more appropriate for businesses that need to recycle large quantities or specialized batteries. Not all battery types may be accepted. Extra Considerations For Recycling Batteries Whenever possible, recycling is the best option, since some batteries are dangerous for the environment. If you're going to recycle batteries, you should keep these points in mind: If you're recycling an old laptop, remove the battery. The battery and laptop need to be submitted separately for recycling.If you're recycling a smartphone, you don't have to remove the battery, as the battery and phone can be recycled together.If you're keeping the phone, but you just want to get rid of the battery that's no longer charging, take the phone to an authorized dealer so that you can get the battery removed and replaced with a new one.If you're disposing or recycling a rechargeable battery via shipping rather than in person, make sure you check for any additional procedures or packaging the facility you're shipping to requires.