Tips For Recycling Household Batteries

Many people amass dead batteries, but few people know what exactly to do with them. For safety purposes, it is important to avoid simply throwing old batteries away with the rest of your trash -- they should always be recycled at a facility that specifically advertises battery recycling services. How you store and prepare your old, dead batteries for recycling can make a big difference. Taking a few extra steps can help ensure that your batteries do not short circuit or cause any other type of problem. Use the following tips to get your old household batteries ready to be recycled:

Keep Terminals Covered

One of the most important aspects of safely preparing dead batteries for storage and recycling is covering the terminals. Even though the battery may be dead, the terminals can still hold small amounts of energy. The easiest way to take care of the terminals on your dead batteries is by placing each battery in its own clear, plastic bag and then sealing it. This ensures that none of the battery terminals will be in contact with each other. If you do not have clear, sealable plastic bags available, you can also place a piece of electrical or duct tape over the terminals of each battery, ensuring that they are completely covered.

Place Batteries in a Plastic Container

Few people are going to travel to a battery recycling center just to turn in one or two small household batteries, so it makes sense to store your dead batteries until you have several to recycle. It is always best to place your dead batteries in a plastic container -- avoid using metal or cardboard containers. A plastic container will not conduct any type of electricity, making it the safest place to store dead batteries.

Keep Dead Batteries in a Cool, Dry Area

Do not make the mistake of placing your container of dead batteries in an area that can become quite warm or hot, especially in the summer. Extreme heat can damage dead batteries and cause a number of problems, so it is in your best interest to place your container of dead batteries in a cool, dry area until you can take them to be recycled. Your best bet is to keep the batteries indoors, inside a drawer or closet.

Recycle Old Batteries Every Few Months

It is never a good idea to collect dead batteries for years before taking them to a battery recycling center. The safest option is to drop off the dead batteries that you have collected every few months; when you drop them off at the recycling center, leave them in their clear plastic bags, or make sure that there is still tape covering the terminals.