How to Prepare Your Batteries for Recycling

Christine LellisRecycling Batteries

One of the most common reasons project managers hang onto their spent batteries is because preparing them for recycling seems like a lot of trouble and work.

They don’t feel confident navigating the maze of packaging and shipping requirements, so the batteries end up gathering dust in a warehouse.

To help you safely and correctly prepare your batteries for recycling, we’ve compiled information to make it easy for you to get through the process.

Identify your batteries

The first step in preparing your batteries for recycling is to identify which type of batteries you have. Different battery chemistries need to be packaged, transported, and recycled in different ways. Misidentification of batteries can lead to incorrect shipping procedures and liabilities for your organization, so it’s very important to make sure your batteries are identified correctly.

For help identifying your batteries, visit our battery identification guide.

Package your batteries for shipment

The next step is to package your batteries for shipment. It’s very important to make sure your batteries are packaged properly. Otherwise, they can get damaged and leak dangerous materials. Or worse yet, they could catch fire or explode while en route to the recycling facility.

Because of the potential dangers, anyone shipping batteries must follow certain requirements to ensure safety during transport. Not following these requirements can lead to serious fines or penalties.

As we mentioned above, different types of batteries require different packaging methods. In the case of alkaline batteries, for example, packaging may be as straightforward as protecting the terminals with tape to prevent short circuit, packing them in sturdy containers to prevent damage, and ensuring metal and other conductive materials are away from the batteries.

Other batteries, such as lithium-based batteries and many lead acid batteries, are considered hazardous materials and require special packaging, labeling, and documentation. DOT/PHMSA requirements change often, so it’s important to make sure you understand and follow all relevant regulations (or work with an expert who does).

For more detailed information on how to package different types of batteries for shipment, visit our battery shipping guide.

The easiest solution

Preparing your batteries for recycling can be a time-consuming process, and one that’s a bit intimidating. If you’re short on time or would just rather not deal with a DIY approach, then it might be easier to let a professional take care of it.

Battery Recyclers of America provides next-day pickup of all battery types, and we even help you package and palletize your batteries for shipment. Just get in touch or call (800-508-6670) and we’ll take care of the rest.