Ask the Disposal Experts: Old Batteries

RedFish RecyclingIt’s important to know the proper disposal process for any household item you’re getting rid of, and batteries are no different. In fact, it’s even more important to know what to do with batteries, due to their highly toxic chemicals and classification as hazardous waste by the federal government. Here’s a quick rundown of the different types of batteries, and what to do with them.

What’s in them?

  • Batteries for home use (AA, AAA, D, etc,): contain low levels of toxic and harmful chemicals, plus metals like nickel, zinc, cobalt, and silver. The chemical levels are low enough that some manufacturers say it’s okay to dispose of these with normal household waste, but we still recommend recycling or giving to hazardous waste collection.
  • Car batteries: contain significantly higher levels of harmful chemicals, and thus it is imperative that you recycle them. Luckily, it’s simple: just take your old battery to the auto shop or parts retailer when you buy a new one, and they’ll happily recycle it for you.

The most important thing to remember is that all batteries are hazardous waste, and need to be disposed of accordingly.

Unfortunately, Brownsville doesn’t have a dedicated hazardous waste collection service. However, you can contact the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and find a drop area or have the local government schedule a pick up event.