How to Manage Them
- Read the label. If it says "Alkaline," please dispose of it in your household trash. If you cannot read the label, please take it to a Household Hazardous Waste Site.
Automotive (Lead Acid)
- Take to the I-66 or I-95 Recycling and Disposal Center or to the City of Fairfax Drop-off Center.
- Many service stations will take back your used automotive battery when you purchase a new one.
Other Battery Types
- All other battery types should be taken to a Household Hazardous Waste Site.
- If labeled "rechargeable," it can also be taken to one of these locations.
Businesses are required to handle all batteries in accordance with federal regulations. To learn about the national battery act, visit EPA's website.
Special programs exist for recycling rechargeable batteries from retailers, businesses, communities and public agencies. The program is free for these groups. Participating businesses only pay for shipping to the reclamation facility. For more information, contact the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation at 1-800-8-BATTERY, TTY 1-800-255-0056.
See also, business hazardous waste.
All batteries contain chemicals. Some of these chemicals -- especially lead, nickel, cadmium, mercury, zinc and silver -- can be problematic if they are leaked or released into our environment. This is why it is important that they be handled correctly according to type.
Alkaline Batteries: Everyday household batteries used in flashlights, remote controls, and other appliances. Labeled "alkaline," the size can be AA, AAA, 9v, D or C.
Automotive (Lead Acid) Batteries: These are used to power cars, light trucks, all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles. They are not considered a household hazardous waste but do require special handling. When transporting them, please beware of leaks and keep upright.
Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd) and Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH): These are commonly used in cordless power tools, laptop computers, cameras and cell phones. Labeled "Ni-Cd" or “Ni-MH” they come in various sizes including 9v, D, and AA. They can also be small, round button-cell type batteries.
Rechargeable batteries: Many battery types (Ni-Cd, Ni-MH, Li-on, Ni-Zn, Pb) are available in rechargeable form. They will say "rechargeable" somewhere on the battery label. They are most commonly found in cordless power tools, cellular and cordless phones, laptop computers, digital cameras, two-way radios, camcorders and remote control toys.
Mercury batteries: These come in several shapes and sizes, including AA, AAA and small, round button-cell type batteries which are found in items such as watches, hearing aids and some cameras.
Lithium batteries: These can be used in many electronic devices such as cameras, cell phones and laptop computers. Labeled "Lithium" or “Li-ion” they can be 9v, C, and AA. They can also be small, round button-cell type batteries.
Materials for Recycling or Disposal