Batteries are useful. You can use them to power computers, cell phones, music players, flashlights, Nerf blasters… but after so many uses, they don’t work anymore, and at some point, even a ReZap alkaline battery reviver isn’t going to do any good. All batteries eventually reach a point where they will no longer hold a charge. Also, batteries are not accepted at landfills. Luckily, most batteries can be recycled!
What kinds of batteries can be recycled?
Household batteries (both rechargeable and alkaline) can be recycled, if only for their metal components. Vehicle batteries are also recyclable. A majority of Wal-Marts will accept vehicle batteries, provided that a new one is purchased.
Where can I recycle my used batteries? Can I take them to E-Waste pick ups?
Batteries are not accepted at E-Waste events, and are only taken at certain locations, such as battery recycling centers. You can locate a center near you by calling 1-800-237-BLUE, or by wastefreesd.org. For rechargeable batteries, stores that sell new ones, such as Target, Home Depot, and Radio Shack will usually accept used rechargeables. Cell phone stores, such as Verizon stores, should accept used cell phone batteries. Auto shops that sell vehicle batteries typically will accept vehicle batteries free of charge, with a possible discount on a new battery. Also, there are twenty San Diego County Libraries that will accept used household (alkaline and rechargeable, not vehicle) batteries during their operating hours. These libraries are:
- Borrego Springs
- Campo-Morena Village
- Cardiff by the Sea
- Casa de Oro
- La Mesa
- Lemon Grove
- Pine Valley
- Rancho San Diego
- Rancho Santa Fe
- Valley Center
In Encinitas, the Encinitas Community and Senior Center, Encinitas City Library, and Encinitas Department of Public Works (160 Calle Magdalena) accept used household batteries during their normal operating hours.
In Del Mar, the Del Mar Fire Department accepts small, portable Ni-Cd, Ni-mh, Li-ion, and PB rechargeable batteries. They are located at 2200 Jimmy Durante Blvd.
In Carlsbad, the Waste Management Recycling Facility at 2880 Industry St. in Oceanside (phone #:760-929-9400), and the Clean Harbors Household Hazardous Waste Facility at 1145 East Taylor St in Vista (phone #:800-444-4244) will both take household batteries free of charge. However, the Waste Management facility is only open every other Saturday and requires an appointment, while the Clean Harbors facility is open every Saturday. There is also the Carlsbad Recycling Center at 5960 El Camino Real (888-964-9784), which is open Tuesday through Saturday from 8 AM to 4 PM, with a 40 minute closure every day from 12 to 12:40. No appointment is needed for the Recycling Center.
In the City of San Diego, the only city provided center is the San Diego Household Hazardous Waste Transfer Facility, which will take batteries by appointment only on Saturdays, and only from City of San Diego residents. Another center available is Recycle San Diego, located at 8222 Ronson Road. They will accept all batteries, but will charge a $1 per pound fee for alkaline batteries.
For the unincorporated San Diego County residents, an HHW collection facility is available in Ramona, at 324 Maple St (phone # 1-877-R-1-Earth) that accepts household batteries. It is open on all Saturdays except for holiday weekends, and requires appointments. There are also numerous EDCO Household Hazardous Waste facilities that accept household batteries free of charge. (Hours, Appointment requirements, and residency requirements vary between locations.)
In addition to the above residence specific locations, Waste Management of San Diego operates a recycling center in El Cajon that accepts all household batteries by appointment from all California residents. It is located at 925 O’Conner St, and is open on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of every month.
If none of these are accessible to you, you can contact your city’s Hazardous Waste Disposal Center to make an appointment for drop off. (You must have proof of city residence.)
How should I prepare my batteries for recycling?
Package used batteries in a plastic bag. For added safety, tape over the contact points to prevent accidental shocks. (Do not use duct tape for this.)