QUESTION: Can I Throw My Batteries out with the Trash or Recyclables?

​​ANSWER: Yes and no. Single-Use Alkaline batteries, such as your AA, AAA, C, D and 9-volt batteries can go in your household trash. Rechargeable batteries, like Lithium Ion and Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd) batteries that are used in power tools, laptops, cell phones, and cameras, should NEVER go in the trash or recycling carts but should be recycled through the City’s Resource Recovery Center, or select retailers.
batteryThe City’s Waste Management division recently removed the battery collection boxes from local libraries since they were deemed a fire hazard. The lithium batteries that were dropped in these boxes are prone to catching fire if they’re damaged or deformed. Having them inside or near a building full of paper was a source of concern for the Libraries and Waste Management

Additionally, since alkaline batteries no longer contain mercury they are now safe to toss in household trash. They’re taken to a waste-to-energy facility in Portsmouth, along with the rest of the trash from your black cart, and safely incinerated. This facility uses the waste as a local fuel to generate 60 megawatts of clean, renewable electricity for local utility providers. That’s enough to keep the lights on in about 31,000 homes in our region. In addition, the facility provides steam to meet the needs of the neighboring Navy shipyard in Norfolk.

Lithium and Ni-Cad rechargeable batteries can be recycled at select locations, but should never be placed in the curbside trash or recycle containers. Compaction blades located inside the trash and recycling trucks can puncture or damage rechargeable batteries. When this happens, there is an increased risk of fire that can not only damage trucks, but puts drivers in danger. 

If you have a rechargeable battery that you need to dispose of, it can be dropped off at the City’s Landfill and Resource Recovery Center at 1989 Jake Sears Road during regular operating hours. Or, visit​ and select “find a location near you”. 

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