How To Get Rid of Household Batteries in Saratoga County
Battery Disposal & Recycling Tips
We’ve been covering some of the local hazardous waste collection events on our blog recently, but know that not everyone who may have wanted to participate has been able to. When it comes to one of the most common household waste items – batteries – it can be confusing to remember what to do with which type. Here’s how to used batteries of your house and into the right hands.
Single-Use Battery Recycling & Disposal
Single-use batteries are also known as alkaline and primary batteries; they’re the ones usually used in remote controls, toys, alarm clocks, flashlights and other small devices. Once they die, they’re done for good. If you can recycle your alkaline batteries, you should – despite being deemed chemically benign by the federal government, single-use batteries still contain materials that aren’t safe or good for the environment.
- Your town’s website is a great place to start to find information on recycling alkaline batteries. That’s also where you’ll be able to find out about household hazardous waste collection events.
- Earth911 and Call2Recycle offer online resources to search for recycling options by zip code and battery type
- Google mail-in recycling services like Call2Recycle or The Big Green Box
- As a last resort, it is legal in the state of New York to toss alkaline batteries in the trash
Just remember that although “dead” alkalines may not power a device, they still have power and can produce electricity. Be sure to collect them safely in a cardboard or plastic container, and tape 9 volt battery terminals to prevent any fire risk.
Rechargeable Battery Disposal & Recycling
Rechargeable batteries can be charged many times before they’re replaced and are usually found in smartphones, laptops, power tools and similar consumer devices that drain energy quickly.
In the state of New York, it is illegal to dispose of rechargeable batteries in the garbage. Retailers that sell rechargeable batteries are required under the NYS Rechargeable Battery Law to accept and recycle them for consumers free of charge. Close to Saratoga, here’s where you can drop them off:
- Best Buy
- Curtis Lumber in Ballston Spa
- Home Depot
Why Does It Matter?
Regardless of type, most batteries still contain toxic chemicals, like cadmium, lead, lithium, and sulfuric acid. When batteries are dumped in landfills, these toxins can come into contact with the environment, groundwater, fragile ecosystems, and even make their way into the food chain.
Environmental issues aside, batteries that are improperly disposed of can also short circuit and overheat, causing a fire. For most battery types, it’s illegal to put them in the trash altogether. Properly recycling them is always your safest bet. ♥
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