Batteries (Lithium-Ion)

Alternative ways to recycle
Hazardous Waste

It is illegal to place batteries in your waste bins. Batteries are considered hazardous waste. They can catch on fire or create a toxic environment for waste workers. If properly collected, battery recyclers can repurpose the metal.

Storage tips to avoid short-circuiting and fires.
– Place a piece of non-conductive tape or duct-tape on the ends. Do not cover the brand name or chemistry of the battery.
– Store batteries in a container that does not conduct electricity (like plastic, cardboard, or glass).

City Specific Disposal Options
Please check with your city page (residential or commercial) to confirm if additional options are available, such as home collection, drop-off locations, and/or events. (These options vary per city.)

Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Drop-Off
Your city or county may offer HHW drop-off sites and collection events.
– Los Angeles County: S.A.F.E. Collection Centers and events
– Riverside County
– San Bernardino County
– Ventura County 

Disposal Options For Businesses
Hazardous waste cannot be placed in your containers. Schedule a Special Waste Collection by emailing [email protected] or calling Athens’ Customer Service Department at 888-336-6100. Fees may apply.

Some HHW drop-off centers may allow drop off by small business generators (check links above).


Never Throw in the Garbage

Batteries contain metals and corrosive chemicals that contaminate the environment when not properly processed. All batteries need to be disposed of as hazardous waste.


Lithium-Ion Batteries Cause Fires

Lithium-ion batteries are sensitive and can start fires when put in the garbage or curbside recycling. Always dispose of rechargeable batteries and devices properly to keep sanitation workers safe.

Lithium Batteries Are Single-Use

While lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable, standard lithium batteries cannot be recharged. Learn how to dispose of single-use batteries.

Alternative Ways to Recycle


Recycle With Call2Recycle

Call2Recycle is a no-cost recycling program with collection sites across the United States and Canada. Find out more.


Lowe’s Recycling Program

Lowe’s accepts rechargeable batteries and CFLs at any of their store locations for free recycling. Find the nearest store.


The Office Depot Battery Recycling Program

Office Depot allows consumers to bring their rechargeable batteries to any location for free recycling. Find the nearest store.


Best Buy’s Electronics and Appliances Recycling Program

Best Buy will take back rechargeable batteries as well as the following: battery backups (UPS), button batteries, cell phone batteries and laptop batteries. They do not accept single-use, car, or other wet cell batteries. Find out more.

The Big Green Box Battery Recycling Program

The Big Green Box is a mail-in battery recycling program for both residences and businesses. Their system is simple: Order a box, fill it up with your used batteries, then ship it back to the company’s EPA-approved recycling center. Learn more.

Did You Know?

Lithium-Ion Battery Fires on the Rise

Since lithium-ion batteries are sensitive to pressure and contact, they can cause truck or facility fires when accidentally thrown in the garbage or curbside recycling. One Brooklyn recycling facility recorded over 100 fires caused by lithium-ion batteries in 2021. Another lithium-ion battery fire burned down a public recycling center in San Carlos, California, causing $6.8 million in damages.

What Devices Use Lithium-Ion Batteries?

Lithium-ion batteries are found in common consumer electronics such as wireless headphones, cell phones, laptops, tablets, cameras, calculators, handheld gaming devices, hearing aids, hoverboards, e-cigarettes, and cordless appliances and power tools. Lithium-ion batteries are also used in electric vehicles and solar energy storage.