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What to Do with Old Batteries?

Without a doubt, the invention of the battery has been a major and beneficial milestone in our history. Household battery usage has dramatically increased globally due to the growing number of electronic devices in our daily lives. Common battery types include alkaline, rechargeable nickel-metal (NiMh) and lithium-ion batteries. Proper disposal of household batteries is crucial to mitigating their environmental impact. Alkaline batteries such as AAA, AA, C, D and 9 volts no longer contain mercury or hazardous components and are generally safe for regular trash disposal. However, it’s advisable to recycle them. Button cells, nickel-cadmium and lithium batteries contain hazardous components and should always be recycled. Recycling batteries ensures that valuable materials are reclaimed and reused, reducing the demand for mining and preserving natural resources. Efforts to recycle batteries have improved, but many still end up in landfills.

Presently, the best way to reduce your environmental footprint when it comes to batteries is to use rechargeables. Most rechargeables can be charged hundreds of times, greatly decreasing the number of batteries disposed of compared to single use batteries. The initial cost of buying rechargeables is more compared to single use batteries, but you’ll save money with them in the long run. All retail locations in NYS that sell rechargeable batteries are required to accept them from consumers for recycling. Both Home Depot and Lowes work with a non-profit battery recycling program called Call2Recycle, and will accept any rechargeable battery weighing up to 11 pounds and under 300-watt hours.


The Towns of Horicon and Chestertown Transfer Stations accept all household battery types for recycling. The Schroon Lake Transfer Station currently does not accept any hazardous materials for recycling. Private curb-side trash collectors in our area do not pick-up batteries for recycling. So once again, the best option is to buy rechargeable.


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