Washington State Battery and Electronics Recycling and Disposal Guide for Households

If you are having a difficult time finding out what to do with used batteries and where you can take them to be recycled or safely treated and disposed, then you should find a solution here on this page. Whether you have a AAA, AA, C, D, watch, button, hearing aid or car battery, there is a solution. 

Where to Recycle Your Batteries

All types of batteries are accepted at the recycling and reuse building at the North Transfer Station. Household Hazardous Waste facilities accept alkaline batteries (AAA, AA, C, D, 9v) for recycling. Alkaline batteries may also go in the garbage.

Find out what to do with other types of batteries using Seattle Public Utilities’ Where Does It Go tool.

Where to recycle Electronics:

Drop off electronics at the recycling and reuse building at the North Transfer Station. Other options include recycling electronics at a Take it Back Network, or at E-Cycle Washington locations.

Other battery options:

Recycling of non rechargeable batteries is becoming more commonplace, but it can still be a challenge to find a local drop-off location. Recycling used RECHARGEABLE household batteries is now possible! The battery manufacturers have funded a joint recycling center. To find a center near you that will take them, click here! (in the US or Canada))( Which types do they take? Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd), Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH), Lithium Ion (Li-ion), and Small Sealed Lead* (Pb) rechargeable batteries are commonly found in cordless power tools, cellular and cordless phones, laptop computers, digital cameras, two-way radios, camcorders and remote control toys.

Note that California is a bit of a special case.  California regulations require recycling for more types of batteries than other states.  See this page for detailed information about how and where to recycle batteries in California.

For more information about the program and the sponsors, click on Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation  And if you are looking for companies that can recycle batteries from  businesses and governments, see this page.

Bellvue, WA

Batteries, CFL light bulbs and other household hazardous waste. Single-family home residents can recycle the following curbside by following these simple steps:

  • Contact Republic Services at 425-452-4762 to arrange for a curbside pickup.
  •  Fluorescent Tubes and Bulbs: Wrap in newspaper and secure with tape. Place next to recycling container and mark “Fluorescent Tubes.” Tubes can be no longer than four feet long. Limit two per collection and ten per year.
  • Household Batteries: Place rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries in separate clear, sealed bags. Set on top of recycling container.
  • Small Electronics and Appliance Recycling: Place on top of recycling container. Items that are two feet square or smaller and less than 60 pounds are accepted.
  • Residents of apartments and condos can drop off the above at Republic Services’ In-City Recycling Drop-off Center at 1600 127th Avenue Northeast.

Shoreline, WA

The Washington State Department of Ecology has the E-Cycle Washington program in place to provide responsible recycling of various electronics.

Batteries: Shoreline residents can recycle household batteries at no-cost. Recycled alkaline batteries are added to steel to be made into re-bar for use in new construction, and the hazardous waste is re-used whenever possible. Collections bins are set up at the following locations:

  • Bartell Drugs - Photo Center
    18420 Aurora Avenue N
  • City Hall lobby
    17500 Midvale Avenue N
  • Shoreline Police Station
    1206 N 185th Street
  • Walgreens - Photo Center
    14510 Aurora Avenue N
    17524 Aurora Avenue N
    17518 15th Avenue NE
  • Household Hazardous Waste Facility
    12550 Stone Avenue N, Seattle

Battery types accepted include: alkaline, carbon zinc, lithium, lithium-ion, nickel cadmium, nickel metal-hydride, and small rechargeable lead acid batteries less than 2 pounds.

Electronics Recycling Locations

  • Recology Store Shoreline
    15235 Aurora Ave N.
  • Deseret Industries - Donation Center
    17935 Aurora Ave N
  • Shoreline Goodwill - Donation Center
    14500 15th Ave NE

Electronics Accepted:

  • Televisions
  • Computers
  • Computer monitors
  • Portable or laptop computers including tablet computers
  • E-readers (also called e-book readers)Portable DVD players

To recycle additional electronics that are not included in the E-Cycle Washington program, visit Electronics and Appliances Recycling at Best Buy.

If you can't find a location above: 

Take the rechargeable batteries to any of the participating retailers. In the U.S.: Alltel, Batteries Plus, Best Buy, Black & Decker, Cingular Wireless, The Home Depot, Milwaukee Electric Tool, Orchard Supply, Porter Cable Service Center, RadioShack, Remington Product Company, Sears, Staples, Target, US Cellular, Verizon Wireless, and Wal-Mart. And in Canada: Battery Plus, Bell Mobility, Canadian Tire, FIDO/Microcell, Future Shop, The Home Depot, Home Hardware, London Drugs, Makita Factory Service Centers, Personal Edge/Centre du Rasoir, RadioShack Canada, Revy, Sasktel, Sears, The Sony Store, Telus Mobility and Zellers.

Use the RBRC collection site locator, or call the consumer helpline, 1-800-8-BATTERY, to find the retail collection site nearest you.

Non-rechargeable (typically "alkaline batteries") still don't have a recycler and general just must be disposed in the trash. If you have large quantities or are a business, talk with your permitted sanitary landfill operator (otherwise known as "sanitation services", the "dump" or "landfill"). Waste batteries should not be burned because of the metals, and they could explode. When burned, some heavy metals such as mercury may vaporize and escape into the air, and cadmium and lead may end up in the ash.

Click here for one more place to try to find a recycling location near you if none of the options above were suitable.

 

Contact your local or county health department, waste disposal operator, extension educator, recycling facility, call the EPA Hotline and ask for a copy of the publication: "Used Dry Cell Batteries" - phone (800) 424-9346. This publication does not address nonhousehold waste battery sources such as medical, business, etc.
 

Summary - Real Disposal and Recycling Methods

Check with your local solid waste management district (listed under County Government in your phone book) for any outlets for household battery recycling. See if your local jeweler, pharmacy or battery retailer will accept button batteries for recycling. Ohio EPA keeps a list of battery recycling and disposal companies on file; however, these companies are usually set up to serve industrial or municipal customers with bulk amounts of batteries rather than individuals.

Battery Type

Common Name

Sizes Available

Examples of Use

Disposal classification

Proper Disposal

Alkaline 

( manganese)

Coppertop, Alkaline AAA, AA, C, D, 6V, 9V Flashlights, calculators, toys, clocks, smoke alarms, remote controls These batteries are classified by the federal government as non-hazardous waste. Place in the trash (normal municipal waste). Exceptions: California which  requires non-households to dispose of these batteries in accordance with the California Universal Waste Rules.
Button Mercuric Oxide, Silver Oxide, Lithium, Alkaline, Zinc-Air Sizes vary Watches, hearing aids, toys, greeting cards, remote controls hazardous waste Bring to a Household Hazardous Waste Collection Site
Carbon Zinc "Classic", Heavy Duty, General Purpose, All Purpose, Power Cell AAA, AA, C, D

6V, 9V

Flashlights, calculators, toys, clocks, smoke alarms, remote controls, transistor radios, garage door openers These batteries are classified by the federal government as non-hazardous waste. Place in the trash (normal municipal waste). Exceptions: California -  requires non-households to dispose of these batteries in accordance with the California Universal Waste Rules. Also, Minnesota (Hennipen County only) requires these batteries be disposed as a hazardous waste.
Lithium / Lithium Ion Usually has "lithium" label on the battery 3V, 6V, 3V button Cameras, calculators, computer memory back-up, tennis shoes These batteries are classified by the federal government as non-hazardous waste They can be recycled! To find a center near you that will take them, click here! 
Nickel-Cadmium (Rechargeable) Either unlabeled or labeled "Ni-Cd" AAA, AA, C, D, 6V, 9V Flashlights, toys, cellular phones, power tools, computer packs hazardous waste To find a center near you that will take them, click here! or Bring to a Household HazardousWaste Collection Site
Nickel Metal Hydride (Rechargeable) Either unlabeled or labeled "Ni-Li" or "Ni-Hydride) AAA, AA, C, D, 6V, 9V Flashlights, toys, cellular phones, power tools, computer packs non-hazardous waste - except in California, which requires non-households to dispose of these batteries in accordance with the California Universal Waste Rules. Safe for disposal in the normal municipal waste stream.  These batteries are also acceptable for recycling by the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation's (RBRC) Battery Recycling Program.
Reusable Alkaline Manganese (Rechargeable) Renewal AAA, AA, C, D Flashlights, calculators, toys, clocks, radios, remote controls   Place in the trash
Sealed Lead Acid (Rechargeable)

 

"Gel," VRB, AGM, Cyclone, El Power, Dynasty, Gates, Lithonia, Saft, Panasonic, Yuasa Multiples of 2 Volts: 2V, 6V, 12V Video cameras, power tools, wheelchairs, ATV's, metal detectors, clocks, cameras hazardous waste To find a center near you that will take them, click here! Bring to a Household HazardousWaste Collection Site
Lead Acid Vehicle Batteries Autozone, Sears Die Hard, Yuasa 12V, 6V Cars, trucks, motorcycles hazardous waste Take back to place of purchase <
Most places that sell car batteries will also accept them for recycling. There may be a fee for this service.
metal recycler may pay you for your car battery. Look in the yellow pages under "Recycling Centers" for a list of recyclers.
Silver Oxide Panasonic Silver Oxide Sizes vary Watches, hearing aids, toys, greeting cards, remote controls hazardous waste Non-Consumers must dispose of these batteries in full compliance with the hazardous waste rules. Consumers are covered by the Household exemption under RCRA which allows for these batteries to be disposed of into the municipal waste stream. These batteries are also acceptable for recycling by the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation's (RBRC) Battery Recycling Program.
 

Other related information and sources:

Battery Manufacturer contact information

Keep in mind that the battery manufacturers have funded the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation's (RBRC) Battery Recycling Program to find a drop off location for batteries nearest you, so that you wouldn't need to call the manufacturers directly. To find a location, click to visit the RBRC homepage  or call 1-800-8-BATTERY.

Manufacturer (click the name for their website) Phone number Email address or contact form
Panasonic 1-800-211-PANA (7262) Panasonic contact form
Duracell   Duracell contact form
Eveready Energizer (i.e., the Energizer Bunny)    

Other sources of information, Links and Publications

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