Since many people have questions about batteries, we include this list on how to best handle different types. For more detail about each type, scroll down the page.
- Regular Alkaline Batteries: (AAA, AA, C, D, 9-Volt)
Go in trash. The mercury in these batteries was removed in the mid-1990's. Note: The squat batteries used in cameras are usually Lithium, not alkaline, and should go to a Household Hazardous Waste collection.
- Rechargeable batteries: Should be recycled through:Your transfer station or a retailer participating in the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (http://www.rbrc.org) take-back program (they also take cell phones at these locations): Best Buy; Home Depot; Sears; Radio Shack; US Cellular; Staples
- Button Batteries:
Button-sized batteries contain mercury and must be recycled. FREE button battery recycling is available at the Rite-Aid pharmacies in Bellows Falls and Windsor and at the Greater Falls Pharmacy in Bellows Falls. Most of the transfer stations in our district accept button batteries for recycling.
When buying the new battery, ask your service station or car parts store to take the old one back. Often you can receive a discount on the new one for the "core" of the old one.
AutoZone (298-8200) and Advance Auto Parts (298-7036) in West Lebanon take car batteries from the public.
Further Details - For those with inquiring minds
Regular alkaline batteries:
These used to be hazardous due to mercury content. Mercury, if released into the environment, can contaminate lakes and streams, the plants and animals who live there, and eventually people who eat the fish. In 1996, U.S. Congress enacted the "Battery Act," which among other things banned the use of mercury in these batteries. So what it comes down to is that batteries manufactured and sold before 1996 probably have mercury in them and should be taken to a household hazardous waste (HHW) collection event. Those made after that can simply be tossed into the trash.
Please Note: No batteries should be thrown into trash that will be incinerated due to the potential for heavy metals going up the stack. Most municipalities which incinerate their trash have an active battery recycling program.
All rechargeable batteries seem to have something in them that makes them hazardous, and valuable as a recyclable - usually heavy metals. Therefore, all rechargeable batteries should be recycled. The most popular rechargeable batteries are Nickel-Cadmium, known as Ni-Cd (pronounced ni'-cad). Another common type is Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH). Rechargeables are used for power tools, cell phones, laptops, flashlights, and many other household items. Most retailers that sell rechargeables also take old ones back free of charge and send them to a not-for-profit group called the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (http://www.rbrc.org) which reclaims the metals in them. District transfer stations also participate in the RBRC program.
Button batteries are found in small items such as hearing aids, watches, calculators, cameras, and toys and are about the size of--you guessed it--a button. Button batteries can be alkaline, silver, mercury-oxide, or another cell-type. Alkaline button batteries contain mercury even though their larger cousins do not. Whatever type of button battery you have, it contains mercury. Please recycle it at a participating pharmacy.
Car batteries are known as "wet-cell" lead-acid as they contain liquid sulfuric acid. Due to both the acid and the lead, car batteries are considered hazardous. That, and because they contain so much lead which is easily reclaimed, they should be recycled.