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Recycling 101 - What Batteries You Should Recycle

Can those AA Alkalines go in your normal household garbage?

With so many batteries available, it is often difficult to know how they should be properly disposed; can you toss it in the normal household garbage, or should it be taken to a hazardous waste location? Everyday batteries include:

Alkaline Batteries (flashlights, calculators, toys, smoke alarms, clocks, etc.) are classified as non-hazardous waste by the federal government. Most U.S. states, with the exception of California, can include with their normal household waste. California requires disposal of these batteries in accordance with the California Universal Waste Rules.

Button Batteries (watches, hearing aids, toys, greeting cards, remote controls, etc.) come in a variety of materials. They often contain mercury, silver, or lithium, and should be returned to the manufacturer when purchasing a new battery. Alkaline button batteries and zinc/air can be disposed of with normal household waste.

Li-Ion Batteries (laptops, camcorders, cell phones, etc.) are classified by the federal government as non-hazardous waste, however they can be recycled.

NiMH Batteries (power tools, camera, cell phones, computers, etc.) are rechargeable and can be recycled. NiMH are considered a non-hazardous waste in most U.S. States, with the exception of California. Check the California Universal Waste Rules.

NiCad Batteries (power tools, camera, cell phones, computers, etc.) are recyclable. NiCad is considered a hazardous waste by the U.S. government, and should be brought to a recycling facility.

Wet Cell Lead Acid Batteries, (automotives and tractors) also known as flooded batteries can be recycled at most retailers that sell lead-acid batteries.

AGM Lead Acid Batteries, (wheelchair, ATVs, home alarm, metal detectors, etc.) or Absorption Glass Mat Batteries can be reconditioned or recycled into new products. Collection services are available at most automotive stores, landfills, transfer stations, and service stations. The Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC), a nonprofit public service, targets four kinds of rechargeable batteries for recycling: nickel-cadmium (NiCad), nickel metal hydride (NiMH), lithium ion (Li-Ion), and small-sealed lead. Visit their website http://www.rbrc.org to find recycling locations near you. The rule of thumb is that most rechargeable batteries are recyclable. Look for the RBRC logo or the standard recycling logo to know if your battery is recyclable. The US government states it is safe to dispose of alkaline and other non-rechargeable batteries with the household garbage. If you are concerned about the environmental effects, then it is time to switch to rechargeable batteries. Rechargeable batteries can be used over and over again, then recycled. You can learn more about battery disposal at the EPA website. Contact Zbattery.com at 1-800-624-8681 or sales@zbattery.com to learn what rechargeable battery options are ideal for your application.

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