QUESTION: Should Hearing Aid or Button Cell Batteries be Recycled or Thrown in the Trash?

FACT: Button cell batteries, typically found in hearing aids and watches, often contain mercury or lithium and should never be placed in with your household trash or recycling. Instead, they should be taken to a collection center where they can be disposed of in a safe and environmentally friendly manner.​
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Mercury is toxic to humans and animals, so burning it or dumping it into a landfill will end up creating environmental issues in the long run. Lithium batteries, regardless of size, often catch on fire or even explode when punctured, and we want to avoid fires on a trash truck or in a recycling center.​

Instead, batteries containing mercury or lithium should be taken to a collection center, such as the City’s Landfill and Resource Recovery Center at 1989 Jake Sears Road. They’ll happily take any battery waste during regular business hours, Tuesday through Saturday, 7 a.m to 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays and weather events.

If the location or times aren’t ideal, there are third parties who can accept them as well. Simply visit call2recycle.org, plug in your location, and the site will generate a list of nearby businesses that will take them off your hands. Either way, this ensures the batteries, and any toxic materials within, are disposed of in a safe and clean fashion.

Alkaline batteries can go in your household trash, and that hasn’t changed. So your 9V, AAA, AA, C and D batteries, or any other alkaline battery, can be dropped in your black trash bins without worrying. For more information about what can, and can’t, go in your household trash, please visit Waste Management’s website at VBGov.com/wastemgt​.
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