5 Common Battery Recycling Myths

Christine LellisRecycling Batteries

Batteries have become an indispensable part of our lives at home and in the workplace. 

Even so, when it comes to what to do with your batteries when they no longer hold a charge, it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction.

The experts at Battery Recyclers of America have put together this guide to cut through the confusion and bust these five common battery recycling myths.

Myth 1: It’s fine to throw batteries in the trash.

Think twice before you toss your spent batteries in the bin. Throwing away certain types of batteries can be hazardous or even illegal. 

In most states, you can safely dispose of single use batteries such as AA, AAA, C, and D. Rechargeable batteries, however, must be recycled. These batteries contain heavy metals that can be hazardous to humans and the environment. Car and industrial batteries must be recycled as well. Failure to comply with battery recycling regulations can result in hefty fines. 

Myth 2: Battery recycling isn’t worth the effort.

You might be surprised to learn that battery recycling is actually very easy. Most Americans live within 10 miles of a Call2Recycle drop-off location, so you may be able to drop off your used batteries on the way to work or the grocery store. 

For businesses that have a large number of batteries to recycle, the process is even simpler. When you schedule a pickup with Battery Recyclers of America, you can sit back and let our team handle the entire process, from pickup to transportation.

Myth 3: Battery recycling is too expensive.

This myth couldn’t be further from the truth. To understand why, let’s back up a step. Batteries contain materials like lead, cobalt, and nickel that still have value even after your batteries stop working. By recycling your batteries, these materials can be recovered and reused to make new products. In this way, battery recycling can actually pay for itself. As often as we can, we try to provide cash back to our clients for their recyclable batteries. 

Myth 4: Battery recycling is inefficient.

There’s a common misconception that battery recycling doesn’t work or isn’t very good at recovering materials. This couldn’t be more wrong. 

Today, many recyclers have developed efficient processes to recycle old batteries into new materials. For example, recycling processes today can recover up to 96% of the materials in a lithium battery. Recyclers are working on developing even more efficient methods to reclaim battery materials. And the more people recycle, the better and more economical these processes will become. 

Myth 5: Batteries have to be in good shape to be recycled.

If your batteries are bloated, leaking, or corroded, they can’t be recycled — right? Wrong. 

Damaged batteries can (and should) be recycled, but it does require some special considerations. The best way to dispose of damaged or defective batteries will depend on the type of batteries you have and the damage. This is something a recycling professional can advise you on quite easily, but we don’t recommend doing it yourself.

Final thoughts

Busting these battery recycling myths is just the beginning. When it comes time to dispose of your spent batteries, the best way to avoid a misstep is to work with a reputable recycler. At Battery Recyclers of America, we’ve recycled 46 million pounds of batteries (and counting). Our experts are here to help you every step of the way.