Single-use batteries of any size are some of the most common household batteries. Single-use batteries can be found throughout the home in various sizes, including AA, AAA, 9V, D-cell, and others. These are the batteries inside your TV remotes, flashlights, children’s toys, and other small electronics.

Can Single-Use Batteries Be Thrown in the Trash?

Yes, single-use batteries are now made of common metals deemed non-hazardous by the federal government. You can dispose of them in your regular trash in all states except California, where it’s illegal to throw away all types of batteries. Before 1996, single-use batteries contained mercury and were treated as hazardous waste. One exception is a button cell battery found in a watch, which is hazardous and should be disposed of like a rechargeable battery.

Switching to Rechargeable Batteries

You can reduce your need for disposing of single-use batteries by purchasing rechargeable batteries instead. These can be used more than 1,000 times and recycled at no cost to you.

Can Rechargeable Batteries Be Thrown in the Trash?

No, don’t place rechargeable batteries of any kind in the trash. It’s illegal in some states because rechargeable batteries contain heavy metals hazardous to the environment.

Can Batteries Be Recycled?

  • Rechargeable batteries can and should be, recycled, usually at no cost to you.
  • Single-use batteries require specialized recycling techniques to be recycled.

Where to Recycle Batteries

Home improvement or office supply stores often accept rechargeable batteries for recycling by hosting a dropbox. Find a drop-off location to recycle batteries near you at Call2Recycle.

For single-use batteries, call your local solid waste district to find out if your community has a collection program or upcoming event or search the area for recycling centers that accept single-use batteries using Earth911’s Recycling Search.

You can also look online for a mail-in recycling program that accepts batteries. Most of these programs will sell you a container to store used batteries that can be mailed when filled.


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