Battery Recycling & Disposal

Disposal Instructions
The following information is modified from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

Description Of Dry Cell Battery Categories

  • Alkaline batteries (AAA, AA, C, D and 9 volt): since 1994, most types contain no added mercury, and only contain trace amounts that are not hazardous. These batteries are marked “no added mercury” or have a green tree logo.
  • Nickel-cadmium rechargeable batteries (NiCads) exist in many sizes and shapes and are marked rechargeable. Some may be built into rechargeable appliances. NiCads contain cadmium, a metal that is toxic to humans when inhaled or ingested.
  • Button batteries (small, round, silver-colored, used in watches and hearing aids): Many button batteries contain mercury, a metal that is toxic to humans when inhaled or ingested.
  • Lithium batteries (AA, C, 9 volt and button; mainly used in computers and cameras). Lithium is reactive with water, and has caused serious fires.
Disposal of Dry Cell Batteries
  • Alkaline batteries: Domestically manufactured batteries made after 1994 no longer contain mercury and can be disposed of in the trash.
  • Nickel-cadmium rechargeable batteries: Do not dispose of in the trash. Take to a retail collection location or a municipal recycling center that accepts rechargeable batteries. The Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC) operates a collection program through selected retail stores and municipal recycling programs. There are currently over 400 collection sites in Massachusetts that are free to residents. Call 800-8-BATTERY (800-8-228-8379) for the nearest retail collection location
  • Button batteries: Do not dispose of in the trash. Many stores selling watches or hearing aids will accept spent button batteries. If your trash is handled by a waste-to-energy facility, find out if they have a mercury waste collection program; or hold for HHW collection.
  • Lithium batteries: Hold for household hazardous waste collection day.
Rechargeable Batteries
Rechargeable NiCads, mercury buttons, and lithium batteries may be brought to the Transfer Station off Simonds Road or the Town Manager’s office at the Municipal Building for proper disposal.

Lead Acid Wet Cell Batteries

Lead acid wet cell batteries (automobiles, lawn tractors) are hazardous waste. These batteries should be turned in at the store (auto parts, Wal-Mart) where the replacement is purchased.