Batteries can start fires if placed in the curbside trash or recycling. Additionally, some batteries are hazardous because they contain mercury, lead, cadmium, or silver. These metals are toxic and hazardous to the environment. It is illegal to put vehicle batteries and rechargeable batteries in the trash.
Remember: Anything that makes sounds, lights up, or turns on without being plugged in contains a battery.
With so many different kinds of batteries, it can be confusing to know how to dispose of batteries correctly. Washington County Environmental Center accepts ALL batteries for free recycling, including rechargeable, button, and alkaline batteries.
How to dispose of your batteries
Do NOT put batteries of any kind into your trash or curbside recycling bin. Bring all batteries to the Environmental Center
How to safely store and transport your household batteries for drop off at the Environmental Center:
- Place a small piece of clear packing tape over both the positive and negative ends of all rechargeable batteries. Using clear tape allows Environmental Center staff to identify the battery for proper sorting and recycling.
- Place taped batteries in a plastic tub with a loose-fitting lid or in a clear plastic bag. Store the batteries in a cool, dry location that is out of reach of children until you are ready to recycle them.
- Bring batteries to the Environmental Center for no charge.
If you cannot safely remove a battery from a device, bring the entire device to the Environmental Center.
For detailed information on battery management, including swollen or damaged batteries, visit the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s fact sheet.
For detailed information on common battery types and uses see the Be a Battery Hero campaign flier.
For additional disposal locations, visit the Washington County Disposal Directory.
Non-hybrid vehicle batteries are accepted at the Environmental Center at no charge. Safely store and transport car batteries by placing them in a plastic tote or plastic lined box. Contact your retailer or car manufacturer for hybrid vehicle battery recycling instructions.