In most U.S. communities, consumers drop off lead-acid batteries, including car batteries, for recycling at local waste agencies and automotive shops. Consumers leave dry-cell batteries, such as alkaline and zinc-oxide batteries, at collection points run by participating local businesses and non-profit agencies.
The EPA encourages consumers to keep batteries of all kinds out of landfills, as the toxic heavy metals contained within batteries can cause environmental damage. To this end, a variety of recycling options are often available locally; it is simply a matter of determining which type of battery requires disposal and identifying its appropriate recycling point.
Car batteries, gel-cell and other batteries used for industrial applications are generally lead-acid batteries, and these can almost always be disposed of at a local waste management agency or at local automotive centers. Consumers also easily recycle rechargeable dry-cell batteries used for powering home appliances, remote controls and cellphones.
Non-rechargeable dry cell batteries may be a little more challenging to dispose of safely, but they still have recycling value. These batteries include the standard A, AA, AAA, C and D batteries as well as 9-volt and button-cell batteries. Consumers can visit Earth911.com to find comprehensive lists of local businesses and other organizations that serve as drop-off locations for non-rechargeable batteries.