Household Battery Disposal Guide

Properly Dispose of Batteries

Almost everyone uses and discards batteries into the waste stream. Although waste batteries are a small amount of the solid waste stream, they are a concentrated source of some types of heavy metals. The main constituents of concern for human health and the environment include: cadmium, lead and mercury. Since 1993, domestically produced alkaline and carbon zinc batteries contain no added mercury and are essentially mercury-free. Since early 1995, rechargeable alkaline batteries contain no added mercury and are essentially mercury-free.

Non-Rechargeable (Disposable)

Type of Battery
Common Uses
Hazardous Component
Disposal
 Recycling Options
Carbon ZincMany household usesNon-hazardousHousehold Garbage
AlkalineMany household usesNon-hazardousHousehold Garbage
Mercuric Oxide (Button)Medical equipmentMercuryRecycling Program
Silver Oxide (Button)Calculators, watches, camerasSilverRecycling Program
Zinc-air (Button)Hearing aids, pagers, camerasMercuryRecycling Program
LithiumComputers, camerasLithiumRecycling Program


Rechargeable (Reusable)

Type of Battery
Common Uses
Hazardous Component
Disposal Recycling Options
Small Sealed Lead AcidTools, CamcordersLeadRecycling Program
AlkalineMany household usesNon-hazardousHousehold Garbage
Nickel - CadmiumSmoke alarms, tools, household usesCadmiumRecycling Program