How to Recycle Alkaline Batteries

  • By: Stefan Ionescu
  • Date: November 24, 2020
  • Time to read: 2 min.

How to Recycle Alkaline Batteries – All You Need to Know

Single-use alkaline batteries are a common household item that remains hugely popular today, despite the growing popularity of rechargeable batteries based on other chemicals. And while many people don’t put any thought into the proper recycling process for these batteries, it’s something you should definitely pay attention to if you’re concerned about the environment. Unfortunately, going about this the proper way is challenging in some areas, and downright impossible in others. Let’s take a look at what your available options are.

Is Proper Recycling an Option?

One of the main issues with alkaline batteries is the lack of proper recycling facilities. The truth about their chemical composition is that a used battery is not worth much by itself, and it takes some significant effort and investment to recycle it to a usable condition. That’s why many facilities don’t even bother with alkaline batteries, and choose to focus on rechargeable models instead.

Store Battery Boxes

Some stores feature “battery disposal boxes”, where you can safely throw out any batteries you’ve accumulated. Keep in mind that this usually leads to standard disposal and isn’t tied to anything fancy – as we mentioned above, there are practically no recycling facilities that work with alkaline batteries on a large scale. There may be some exceptions where a store would submit the batteries to be reused for some specific purpose, but even those are rare.

Is the Garbage Bin Such a Bad Option?

In general, throwing out alkaline batteries in the trash is not only a safe option, it’s the intended one in many cases. It might seem counterintuitive, but it’s exactly what some states already encourage you to do. There are certain exceptions though, like California. If you live in a state where alkaline batteries are classified as a hazard, you might need to throw them out at predesignated spots, and you may be eligible for penalties if you fail to do so.

The best thing you can do in the long term is to simply switch over to more eco-friendly options like rechargeable batteries. This is especially valid for people who go through a large number of batteries on a regular basis, such as avid gamers playing on wireless gamepads.

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