You Can Prevent Battery Fires – Here’s How May 2, 2021 Email Never Throw Batteries in the Trash or Recycling Although batteries are an amazing technology that allow us to use electricity in all sorts of portable devices, it’s important that they are disposed of properly. Batteries are hazardous waste and cannot be disposed of in any of your bins, as they can be harmful to waste workers, public health, and the environment. All batteries must be disposed of as hazardous waste, including AAA, AA, C, D, button cell, 9-volt, lithium-ion and any other single-use or rechargeable batteries, whether loose or contained inside of a device. Why Not? Batteries contain heavy metals and corrosive materials that can react and catch fire. When stored or disposed of improperly, batteries have the potential to catch fire in your home, in a garbage truck or at waste and recycling facilities. Battery fires are serious and have the potential to harm waste workers and destroy entire facilities. Storage and Disposal All these potential risks mean we must store and dispose of batteries and battery powered electronics safely. In our homes, batteries should be kept in their original packaging or in separate plastic bags or containers to avoid contact with other metals. If you are bunching together loose batteries, be sure to keep the positive and negative sides of the batteries facing the same direction to avoid contact of opposing battery terminals. You can use either tape or a rubber band to bunch batteries together, then place them in a plastic bag. To recycle batteries curbside, seal the batteries in a clear plastic bag and place them on top of your recycling cart. Batteries cannot be placed inside your recycling cart. Alternatively, batteries can be disposed of as hazardous waste. Reduce and Reuse You can keep our environmental impact low by reducing your demand for new batteries. Extend the life of your batteries by avoiding exposure to extreme temperatures and turning off battery-powered devices when not in use. When possible, substitute rechargeable batteries in place of single-use ones to reduce your impact and save money. Read more about the benefits of rechargeable batteries and find out where to use and avoid them.