Battery recycling: How to dispose of old batteries properly

Knowing how to dispose of batteries may seem confusing, but we’ve got you covered with this easy guide.

Updated

Battery recycling: how to dispose of batteries properly

Key steps

  • Check the type of battery you have.
  • If it contains mercury or lithium, be sure to recycle at a designated point.
  • Find your nearest local recycling centre or check online for details.

Battery disposal might not be the most interesting way to spend your free time, but it is a useful thing to know about and important for the environment, too. Don’t let those batteries get in the way; learn how and where to recycle all types of batteries with our easy guide.

If you don’t want to deal with battery disposal, opt for gadgets using renewable energy sources such as radios that wind-up.

How to dispose of batteries

When it comes to normal batteries, you are absolutely fine to just put them in the regular bin. This will be taken away by the local refuse service as usual. However, it’s important to check what kind of batteries you have because there are some that should not be disposed of in this manner for very important reasons.

Why recycle old batteries?

Mercury batteries contain poisonous substances that if put in the regular bin will go to landfill. These chemicals can then leak out into the soil poisoning all the things around it – not great. Older batteries are more likely to contain mercury than newer ones, but if you are in any doubt about it, recycle!

Never leave old batteries lying around the house where they could get chewed on by curious children or pets. Keep them safe in an inaccessible drawer until you can dispose of them safely.

How to dispose of lithium batteries

Lithium can also be a harmful substance if it leaks out of old batteries, so as with mercury ones, it’s important to ensure that these are always recycled properly.

How to recycle batteries

So now you know which batteries to recycle, how do you actually go about doing so? It is pretty simple really: just take the batteries to a dedicated recycling point. These can be found anywhere batteries are sold, but you can also take them to larger recycling centres. Not sure where to go? Try these kinds of places:

  • Larger supermarkets
  • Local DIY stores, especially those that specialise in different types of batteries
  • Mechanical shops and businesses
  • Large refuse centres

Still struggling? Look at your local council website for full details.

Originally published