How to Dispose of Batteries
There are lots of simple ways to make sure your home is Earth friendly. However, many people hit a stumbling block when it comes to the proper storage and disposal of household batteries. While rules vary from state to state, in California all batteries are considered hazardous waste and must be recycled or taken to a household hazardous waste disposal facility.
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Batteries are considered hazardous because they contain metals and toxic or corrosive materials that are dangerous to humans and the environment. For these reasons, it is important to take batteries to an official recycling facility. In addition, they can be a valuable source of recycled metal.
The first step is to identify a facility where you can drop off batteries to be recycled. This information can be found through your city or county government’s website or a website that maintains a database of recycling facilities. County governments operate permanent recycling centers, and some also offer mobile collection. Also, many electronics and hardware stores collect batteries for recycling.
Store batteries ready for disposal in a durable, sealed container in a cool, dry area separated from other materials. A plastic or cardboard container is recommended. To prevent fires, use masking tape to cover the ends of lithium batteries. This should be done with “button” cell batteries, AAA, AA, C, D, and 9 volt varieties.
To save resources and time, purchase rechargeable batteries. These must also be recycled.
It is important to take batteries to be recycled routinely—as they sit, they can leak potentially toxic materials. Set a reminder in your calendar or set a date with a friend or family member to go together.
Car batteries are also classified as household hazardous waste that must be disposed of safely and according to the law. In addition to the collection centers operated by county governments, auto shops are generally also approved facilities to collect car batteries for recycling.
Los Angeles County: https://dpw.lacounty.gov/epd/hhw/
Orange County: http://oclandfills.com/hazardous/
Long Beach: http://www.longbeach-recycles.org/
Search for recycling facilities: Earth911.com