Batteries FAQs

Batteries

How do I properly recycle/dispose of automotive lead-acid batteries?

Lead-acid batteries are banned from landfill disposal in Mississippi and in most states. Leave old lead-acid batteries with the retailer where the new lead-acid battery was purchased. The retailer is required by Mississippi law to accept the old battery if a new battery was purchased from them. The retailer will normally charge a $5 or more core charge on the purchase of a new battery until the old battery is returned to them. In addition, some lead-acid battery retailers will accept old batteries without the purchase of a new battery. Call around and find out what the lead-acid battery retailers require.

Old lead-acid batteries can be taken to a household hazardous waste collection event if one is held in the area or a permanent collection site if one has been established in the community (City of Jackson and Jackson County have permanent sites). Click here on Jackson Metro HHW to view the tri-county household hazardous waste recycling facility servicing the Jackson Metro area. For more information on lead-acid battery disposal/recycling, click here on Lead Acid Battery Brochure.

How do I properly recycle/dispose of rechargeable batteries?

Nickel cadmium, nickel-metal hydride and lithium ion rechargeable batteries operate cordless tools, cellular phones, video cameras, digital cameras, laptop computers and numerous other cordless products. These batteries contain hazardous metals and should never be disposed in residential or commercial garbage due to the potential dangers they present to groundwater contamination. These rechargeable batteries can be recycled at numerous retail outlets in the state. Some of these include Radio Shack, Target, Ace Hardware, Best Buy, Sears, The Home Depot and Cellular One. For the nearest drop-off site, call 1-800-8-BATTERY. Communities, government agencies, hospitals, businesses and industries can establish a program on-site to recycle rechargeable batteries. To learn more about the establishment of a recycling program for rechargeable batteries, click here on RBRC to go to the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC) website.

Special Note: Be extremely careful with Lithium batteries. Do not expose to excessive physical shock or vibration. Short circuiting should be avoided since this can cause them to catch fire. Sources of short circuiting include jumbled batteries in bulk containers, coins, metal jewelry, and metal covered tables. Tape the ends with non-conductive tape to prevent short circuiting. Do not disassemble or deform the lithium battery because this can cause one or more of the internal cells to rupture. If this happens and water get to these cells, hydrogen gas will be created and this gas is highly combustible.

How do I properly recycle/dispose of alkaline and carbon zinc batteries?

These batteries can safely be disposed in the regular garbage. There are few sites in the state that accept these batteries for recycling.

Alkaline and carbon zinc batteries can be taken to a household hazardous waste collection event if one is held in the area or a permanent collection site if one has been established in the community (City of Jackson and Jackson County have permanent sites). Click here on Jackson Metro HHW to view the tri-county household hazardous waste recycling facility servicing the Jackson Metro area.

Why are alkaline and carbon zinc batteries not recyclable?

Some metals can be recovered in recycling alkaline and carbon zinc batteries, but often it is very costly and not economical. Where these batteries have been collected, they have often been disposed of as a hazardous waste material rather than recycled. Alkaline batteries contain a small quantity of mercury, but is only a fraction of the amount that the earlier manufactured batteries contained.

Consider switching over to rechargeable batteries that last much longer, cost much less in the long run and are recyclable.