Battery Disposal Regulations Explained (In Less Than 5 Minutes)

What keeps your phone on? Lithium-ion battery. What starts your engine? Lead-acid battery. What powers a forklift? Industrial batteries.

There comes a time when we have to bid farewell and dispose of our batteries. Even the most durable ones have a limited lifespan.

We don’t want our batteries ending up in the trash, polluting the environment and creating safety hazards. Because of that, there are a number of battery disposal regulations for businesses to follow. 

To dispel any remaining confusion around the common battery recycling regulations, you can always refer to this simple, 5-minute guide that will explain your obligations better.

Table Of Contents

Lithium-Ion Battery Disposal Regulations

The Mercury-Containing and Rechargeable Battery Management Act (‘the Battery Act’)

The Universal Waste Rule Of Battery Regulations

State And Local Battery Disposal Regulations

Make sure your batteries are recycled safely & legally

Lithium-Ion Battery Disposal Regulations

Recycling batteries is beneficial to the global well-being of the planet. It is cheaper than landfill collectors, and it is also – federal law.

Many of us use rechargeable devices, like phones, laptops, and even power tools. This is where we find lithium-ion batteries.

They are one of the most common types for consumer electronics and are also favored by manufacturers of the above-mentioned devices. Their chemical composition makes them light and long-lasting. 

They also have very volatile chemistry that requires the disposal of lithium-ions and has to be regulated on the level of state and federal law.

The Mercury-Containing and Rechargeable Battery Management Act (‘the Battery Act’)

In the past, recycling rechargeable batteries could be difficult. Different states had individual regulations, labeling, and waste management requirements.

Having to navigate so many different, and, at times, contradictory rules made it very difficult to dispose of these used batteries properly.

Dangerous materials like mercury are present in batteries and can cause health and safety hazards if not disposed of properly. As a result, the Battery Act was created. The Battery Act, passed in 1996, aimed to make recycling and disposing of batteries not only easier to comply with but also safer. 

The act phased out the use of toxic mercury in batteries. Uniform labeling standards for rechargeable batteries were also introduced for efficiency and ease.

The Battery Act’s focus on reducing toxic chemicals going into the environment also resulted in the Universal Waste Rule for batteries.

The Universal Waste Rule Of Battery Regulations

Dangerous materials found in batteries can lead to accidents and safety hazards during transportation or storage while waiting for disposal.

The Universal Waste Rule created by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is there to encourage safe recycling and disposal of harmful waste. It is effective in all 50 states, without exception. 

Under the Universal Waste Rule, Nickel-Cadmium and Lead-Acid batteries may not be thrown away and must be recycled instead. Businesses must also follow a safe disposal of pesticides, lamps, and mercury-containing equipment.

You can always remove the burden of being in violation of these regulations from your business by outsourcing your disposal to Battery Recyclers of America. 

In this way, you can make sure you comply with hazardous waste disposal rules by using eco-friendly recycling programs.

We will also provide you with a certificate of the proper disposal that is compliant with EPA here.

State And Local Battery Disposal Regulations

Alongside the federal laws in place, there are also some states that have their own battery recycling regulations. These must be followed over and above federal regulations.

As an example, consumers in California are required to recycle all single-use batteries. Whereas, in other states, you can safely dispose of single-use household batteries like AA, AAA, C, and D.

When you fail to comply with either federal or state law you can end up with a hefty fine on your hands. 

To protect yourself and your business, you can find a map of recycling laws by state on our partner company’s site Call2Recycle.

Make sure your batteries are recycled safely & legally

At Battery Recyclers of America, we can guarantee that our recycling programs abide by local, state, and federal regulations. 

Our team of experts always handles, transports, and recycles your used batteries in accordance with all the necessary regulations. 

With us, you can rest assured that your batteries have been recycled properly and in an eco-friendly way.

Contact our team, or give us a call at (866-615-1836) to speak with one of our battery recycling experts today for more information!

We have a solution that's perfect for you.

Need an NDA? No problem. Your privacy matters to us. 

Quick Start

Small Commercial
Pickup Solutions

This choice is best for your company if
you need 1-4 pickups per year.


Large Commercial
Pickup Solutions

This choice is best for your company if
you need 4+ pickups per year.

Looking to recycle a smaller quantity of batteries? Check out our bucket program

Success !

Thank you for contacting Battery Recyclers of America.

We have received your submission. We will contact you soon with help on your battery recycling project.

If you require any further assistance, you can email us or call us.