How to Dispose of Batteries Properly in the American Southwest
Look around your home and you will likely see a wide variety of batteries that power many devices you use every day. From the AAAs in your remote control to the one powering your vehicle, these power sources eventually do need to be replaced. When that time comes, though, how do you dispose of these batteries properly?
Today, we are going to cover everything you need to know about proper battery disposal in Arizona, California, and New Mexico.
Arizona Battery Disposal Guidelines
According to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, batteries are determined to be a toxin to the environment due to their corrosive materials. Metals found in batteries like steel and zinc can also be salvaged for future use.
Instead of throwing batteries away, the state advises that they be taken to a proper recycling facility and not thrown away in blue household bins. The types of batteries Arizona advises recycling are alkaline, button, lithium, and nickel-cadmium. They also provide additional guidance for proper e-waste disposal within the state.
How to Dispose of Batteries in California
California is the only state in the U.S. that forbids batteries from being thrown in the trash. Instead, residents are required to take them to a designated recycling center.
Why does California ban all batteries from the trash? There are a few reasons why. First, the state classifies all batteries as hazardous waste due to the metals and other materials contained within. Second, some of the metals in batteries can potentially be salvaged and recycled.
Can All Batteries Be Recycled at the Same California Facility?
Depending on the type of battery, California residents may have to dispose of them in different ways. For example, rechargeable batteries will have different requirements than a laptop battery, which should be taken to an electronic waste-approved recycling center.
How Do I Find the Right Battery Recycling Center for My Needs?
Thankfully, the State of California provides a number of recycling resources online. Visit their CalRecycle website to look up the appropriate battery recycling center near you as well as other solutions for safely disposing of hazardous material.
New Mexico Battery Disposal Rules
New Mexico designates batteries as Household Hazardous Waste. Depending on the type of battery there are different regulations for disposal.
From the City of Albuquerque’s website, here are some different regulations for battery disposal in the state’s largest city:
Ni-Cad (Rechargeable) Batteries
For disposal of rechargeable batteries, city residents are encouraged to call 1-800-8-Battery for information on local services that can recycle them. These can be disposed of free of charge to the resident.
Disposable Flashlight and Toy Batteries
Standard disposable batteries can be deposited at a local Household Hazardous Waste Center. These facilities can properly and safely dispose of these batteries.
Hearing Aid Batteries
In the City of Albuquerque, residents are able to dispose of hearing aid batteries in a standard rash receptacle. There are no special regulations on these types of batteries.
Smoke Detector Batteries
Smoke detector batteries should be removed for disposal at a HHWC. The city advises that you do not dismantle the rest of the smoke detector while obtaining the batteries.
General Battery Disposal Best Practices
Handle Old Batteries Carefully
When disposing of batteries that have ceased functioning, you should always exercise caution. For example, protect yourself against any leaking material within the battery by wearing gloves and safety goggles when handling them.
Place the Old Batteries in a Safe Container
If there is any chance that the battery might still be functional, it’s important to place it in a safe container. This will help prevent accidental electrical shocks, fires, or leaks. You can use containers like a battery box, a plastic bag, or even an old coffee can to store them safely.
Tape the Ends of 9-Volt Batteries
After you’ve finished using a nine-volt battery, make sure to tape both ends before disposing of it. This will protect against any potential fires or electrical shocks while transporting them for disposal at an approved recycling center.
For Disposing Rechargeable Batteries ,
For rechargeable batteries, they should be placed into a safe container and taken to the proper recycling facility as soon as possible. Remember to also remove them from any old electronics that you might be getting rid of prior to disposing of these devices.
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Knowing how to properly dispose of batteries can help keep you, your home, and the environment safe from hazardous materials. When you are getting rid of household waste, it is important to separate batteries to prevent them from catching fire, which can cause additional safety risks if the rest of the materials in a rental bin are flammable.
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