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Old Alkaline And Lithium Ion Batteries Ready For Disposal 1 Old Alkaline And Lithium Ion Batteries Ready For Disposal

Battery Disposal

Batteries cannot be recycled in Rumpke’s recycling program, nor can most batteries simply be placed in the trash. So, what should you do with old batteries? The short answer is – seek out a recycling option for old batteries. Again – you can’t recycle batteries in Rumpke’s curbside and community recycling programs; however, there are specialty recyclers and retailers that will accept them.

Should Batteries be Thrown in the Trash?

Proper battery disposal depends on where the material is coming from and the type of battery.

Lead Acid Car Battery

Lead Acid Batteries

Don’t place it in the trash. Lead acid batteries are the most heavily controlled batteries. Throwing them in the trash is prohibited. Most auto stores will accept.

Example: Car and boat batteries

Smartphone Plugged Into Lithium Ion Battery

Lithium-ion Batteries

Do not place these in the trash or curbside recycling. Lithium-ion batteries (Li-ion), are capable of holding a small residual charge. This lingering energy is dangerous if the battery is damaged. Lithium-ion batteries must always be safely recycled, either by sending the battery back to the manufacturer or disposing of it at a designated drop-off location.

Used for phones, laptops, lawn equipment, greeting cards, power tools, electric vehicles, etc.

Random Assortment Of Alkaline Batteries

Alkaline Batteries

Residents may place these in the trash. Businesses can’t. Never place in recycling containers. While it’s always best to recycle all batteries, depleted alkaline batteries do not require industrial waste management in most geographies because these batteries no longer contain mercury. 

Examples: AAA, AA, D-volt

Best Practices for Disposing of Batteries

      • Put old batteries in plastic bags or cover the ends of battery terminals with clear packing tape. This prevents lingering charges from releasing in the event of contact.
      • Locate your nearest disposal site or look for battery drop-off events in your community. Your solid waste When in doubt, Call2Recycle is another great resource that promotes battery recycling across the country.
      • If you can’t remove the battery from an old device, bring the entire device to a facility recommended by your local solid waste management district for it to be properly disassembled.
      • Check for battery returns. Some battery manufacturers accept returns via mail, but it’s important to follow postal shipping guidelines before putting old batteries in the mail.

Rumpke’s Battery Recycling Guidelines by State

Ohio prohibits the disposal of batteries containing lead and sulfuric acid. These hazardous materials are most commonly sold for automotive purposes. Retailers are accountable for helping consumers learn more about proper disposal requirements. 

Signs must be placed in stores to inform customers about the requirements and offer customers the option of discarding an old battery at the store in exchange for a new battery.

Full guidance from the Ohio EPA on battery disposal

Kentucky makes Household Hazardous Waste facilities (HHW) available for residents and business owners. It is illegal to discard lead acid batteries in landfills, therefore most auto centers will happily take old batteries to help consumers properly recycle them. They also offer discounts towards the purchase of a new battery with the trade-in to support environmental efforts.

Find battery recycling facilities by county in Kentucky

The state of Indiana supports battery recycling at community collection sites. While the state notes that batteries are not recyclable at the curb, auto retailers and other sites are authorized to help manage battery recycling.

Information about recycling batteries in Indiana

In West Virginia, lead acid batteries must be recycled at an automotive battery dealer, wholesaler, or a lead smelter for safe handling. Retailers must advertise the sale of lead acid batteries and make consumers aware that spent batteries can be returned to the same facility.

When in Doubt – Ask Us! 

Contact us or send us your recycling questions via Facebook, Twitter, email or phone. We’re here to help! Even expert recyclers have questions about recycling the right way. Rumpke, your recycling leader, wants to help. 

It’s important to only recycle items accepted in Rumpke’s program. Putting the wrong material into your recycling bin can cause big problems. Some items damage machines at the recycling center, while other materials, such as batteries, pose hazards to employees or even prevent us from recycling other material.  

Rumpke wants to make sure your recycling efforts count. We want to make sure your time and efforts ensure the intended result: positive environmental benefits for generations to come.