We recommend the use of rechargeable NiMH batteries to minimize the number of batteries that get thrown away and to reduce the amount of battery packaging that ends up in the trash.
If you are switching from alkaline single-use batteries to rechargeable batteries look for a universal smart battery charger that automatically detects when the battery is fully recharged and switches to a trickle charge mode at that point. This will minimize your electricity consumption during battery recharging and protect the batteries against damage caused by over-charging.
For a useful review of rechargeable batteries and battery chargers, click here.
Even with a smart battery charger rechargeable batteries do not last forever. Usually a rechargeable battery will work for about 100 recharges before needing to be replaced.
Batteries contain toxic chemicals and should not be disposed of in the normal trash.
Unfortunately there is not one simple scheme that is suitable for the recycling of all of the different types of battery. Below we list a few of the schemes available to New Jersey residents for battery recycling within the state.
County Recycling Centers
In some NJ counties batteries are collected at County Recycling Centers. Check your local county website for details regarding the types of batteries they will accept.
Call2Recycle has teamed up with a large number of retailers to collect rechargeable batteries using collection boxes located in their stores. To find a location near you, use the zip code search on the Call2Recycle website.
The following retailers have signed up to this battery recycling scheme and have rechargeable battery collection boxes in their stores.
- Best Buy
- Black & Decker
- Home Depot
- Interstate All Battery Centers
- Milwaukee Electrical Tool
- Office Depot
- Orchard Supply
- Porter Cable Service Centers
- Remington Product Company
- US Cellular
- Verizon Wireless
This scheme accepts ALL RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES from the small 1.5V AAA batteries, to cell phone, laptop and power tool batteries. If it is rechargeable then it will be recycled by the Call2Recycle scheme.
However, the single use button (silver oxide) and standard 1.5V non-rechargeable batteries (alkaline batteries) are not accepted by this recycling scheme.
- Nickel Cadmium (NiCd)
- Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH)
- Lithium Ion (Li-ion)
- Nickel Zinc (NiZn)
- Small Sealed Lead Acid (Pb) weighing up to 11 lbs/5 kg per battery
Button Cell Batteries
The small button cell batteries often found in watches and calculators usually contain silver oxide and should be recycled. Many NJ counties will collect these batteries at their municipal recycling centers so check your local county website for details.
Most retail stores that sell button cell batteries have collection boxes where they can be deposited ready for recycling.
Alkaline batteries (standard non-rechargeable 1.5V batteries) are not considered as toxic waste under the EPA regulations. These batteries can be disposed of in the general trash. However, if you wish to recycle these batteries so that the zinc and potassium that they contain is recovered and reused there are organizations that will accept these batteries for recycling. You can purchase a battery recycling kit from Waste Management for $16.95. The kit is essentially a postage paid box for you to collect used batteries in. Just place some tape over the battery terminals to prevent them from short circuiting and place them in the box. Once you have filled up the box simply mail it to the waste management recycling center for processing.
This scheme will accept the standard non-rechargeable (single use) alkaline batteries (1.5V) often used in remote controls and small household electronic equipment, as well as small rechargeable batteries.
Battery types accepted (must be 9V or lower voltage batteries).
- Nickel-cadmium (NiCd)
- Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH)
For details on how to recycle your old car battery see our dedicated webpage on car battery recycling.