Homeowners Guide to Proper Household Battery Management


Due to regulatory changes and less hazardous battery compositions, battery collection practices will change. As of January 1, 2010, many municipalities in Union County will no longer accept batteries either at their recycling centers or with the curbside collection of recyclables.

Since the New Jersey Dry Cell Battery Management Act was adopted in 1991 and the Federal Mercury-Containing and Rechargeable Battery Management Act was adopted in 1996, household battery manufacturers have begun manufacturing alkaline batteries with no added mercury and have reduced the amount of mercury added to other batteries. Alkaline batteries now fall below Federal and State hazardous waste standards and can be disposed of in the regular trash.

WHAT TYPES OF BATTERIES CAN I RECYCLE?

Rechargeable batteries should be recycled. They can be found in cordless power tools, cellular and cordless phones, laptop computers, digital cameras, two-way radios, camcorders, and remote control toys. Rechargeable batteries sometimes look like regular alkaline batteries. The label on the battery will indicate if it is rechargeable. If it says “Alkaline”, dispose of it in the regular trash.

WHERE CAN I BRING MY RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES FOR RECYCLING?

Rechargeable batteries CAN be recycled at participating retail locations including the following: Radio Shack, Best Buy, Staples, Target, Office Max, Lowes, Home Depot, Sears, Wal-Mart and Verizon Wireless. To find a retail collection site, use the collection site locator at www.call2recycle.org or call the consumer helpline, 1-877-2-RECYCLE.

WHAT ABOUT BUTTON CELL BATTERIES?

Most button cell batteries still contain mercury. These batteries can be brought to any of Union County’s Household Hazardous Waste Events. Union County will accept rechargeable and button cell batteries at Household Hazardous Waste events. Remember, batteries must be properly prepared before drop off. New Federal regulations require that have been enacted to prevent short circuiting of batteries during transport. Residents must individually bag each battery or tape each of the terminal ends prior to recycling.