How to Safely
Rule No. 1 - Never put batteries in any curbside recycling container.
Rechargeable batteries contain heavy metals such as cadmium and lead and must be recycled properly.
Recycling rechargeable batteries is free and easy with the 2021 New Jersey Avoid The Spark Initiative, thanks to Call2Recycle®, the Association of New Jersey Household Hazardous Waste Coordinators, and Recycle Coach!
Call2Recycle® is the only free rechargeable battery collection program in North America and is operated by the non-profit Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation. By launching the Avoid the Spark Initiative, they've made battery recycling easier for residents in Burlington County .
What types of rechargeable batteries can be recycled? If it's rechargeable, it's recyclable! Batteries labeled as Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd), Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH), Lithium Ion (Li-ion), Nickel Zinc (Ni-Zn), and Small Sealed Lead (Pb) should be recycled. For a detailed description to help identify these common batteries click here.
Where to Go? Visit the New Jersey "Avoid The Spark" website or call 1-877-2-RECYCLE, to find a collection site. Sites include AT&T, Best Buy, The Home Depot, Lowe's, Office Depot, RadioShack, Sears, Staples, Target, US Cellular and Verizon Wireless.
Follow safety guidelines: To reduce risks, before dropping rechargeable batteries in a collection box, place each battery into a separate plastic bag or cover the battery terminals with tape (electrical, duct or masking).
What about alkaline (non-rechargeable) batteries? Do not recycle them. A 1996 federal law phased out mercury in alkaline batteries. Today alkaline batteries fall below federal hazardous waste standards and can be disposed of in the regular trash.
What about button cell batteries?
Most still contain mercury. Recycle them at the County's Household Hazardous Waste Facility at the Resource Recovery Complex in Mansfield. For more info call 609-499-5200 or visit Burlington County Hazardous Waste.
Pay special attention to rechargeable lithium ion batteries, commonly found in laptops and digital cameras. They can catch fire and even explode if overheated or crushed.
Crushing can create a spark, causing the flammable liquid inside the battery to ignite and create a fire.
- If the temperature inside the battery rises rapidly, the battery can explode due to the increased pressure.
- If the temperature rises slowly, the battery can melt, and the liquid inside can leak out.
- Recycling center fires have been caused by batteries tossed in curbside recycling. The wayward batteries are inadvertently crushed by recycling handling equipment and then ignite, causing explosions and fires.
Never, ever put any type of battery in your recycling bucket or cart!!!