Household Battery Management
A Guide for Homeowners
IF IT'S RECHARGEABLE, IT'S RECYCLABLE
Many New Jersey Counties have been collecting household batteries for recycling and proper disposal since the early 1990s. Due to changes in the composition of batteries and new regulations, for most counties, this practice will now change.
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, including button cells. Alkaline batteries now fall below Federal and State hazardous waste standards and can be disposed of in your regular trash.
WHAT TYPES OF BATTERIES SHOULD I RECYCLE?
Recycle all Rechargeable Batteries:
- Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd)
- Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH)
- Lithium Ion (Li-ion)
- Nickel Zinc (Ni-Zn)
- Small Sealed Lead-less than 11lbs (Pb)
You can find rechargeable batteries 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.
PREPARING BATTERIES FOR RECYCLING
For increased safety when transporting rechargeable batteries, the Federal Department of Transportation (DOT) has enacted new regulations which require special preparations before batteries are transported. Residents must either individually bag each battery or place a piece of tape on the terminal ends.
WHAT ABOUT BUTTON CELL BATTERIES?
Most button cell batteries still have mercury in them. These batteries can be brought to your County’s Household Hazardous Waste events.
WHERE CAN I BRING MY RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES FOR RECYCLING?
To find the retail collection site nearest you, please use the collection site locator at rbrc.org or call the consumer helpline, 1-800-8-BATTERY or 1-877-2-RECYCLE.
Rechargeable batteries may be recycled at the following locations: Radio Shack, Best Buy, Staples, Target, Office Max, Lowes, Home Depot, Sears, Wal-Mart and Verizon Wireless.
Most Counties have drop-off sites for rechargeable batteries or accept them at Household Hazardous Waste events. For Mercer County call 609-278-8086. Visit the Association of New Jersey Household Hazardous Waste Coordinator’s website at www.njhazwaste.com for more information.