• Share:
Battery Disposal

Failsafe ways to dispose of old batteries. Tape exposed contacts to prevent discharge or recycle them.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

The best ways to get rid of old batteries

If you’re concerned that old batteries tossed out in the same disposal container could spark and cause a fire, don’t fret. Even fully charged household batteries, like AA or 9-volt, shouldn’t create a spark, even if the ends touch. However, it is possible for batteries to short out, heat up and, under the right circumstances (although extremely rare), cause a fire. To ensure this doesn’t happen, tape your old batteries together side by side, then tape the ends as shown.

We encourage battery recycling whenever possible. Contact your local solid waste center for recycling household batteries. For portable rechargeable batteries and old cell phones, contact the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corp. (rbrc.org). The RBRC Web site lists drop-off sites for recycling the batteries commonly found in cordless power tools, laptop computers and digital cameras.

Back to Top

Comments from DIY Community Members

No comments on the article have been posted yet. Be the first to add your comment!

You will be required to log in or create an account to post a comment.


Add Your Comment

Battery Disposal

Please add your comment

Log in to My Account

Log in to enjoy membership benefits from The Family Handyman.

  • Forgot your password?
Don’t have an account yet?

Sign up today for FREE and become part of The Family Handyman community of DIYers.

Member benefits:

  • Get a FREE Traditional Bookcase Project Plan
  • Sign up for FREE DIY newsletters
  • Save projects to your project binder
  • Ask and answer questions in our DIY Forums
  • Share comments on DIY Projects and more!
Join Us Today

Report Abuse

Reasons for reporting post

Free OnSite Newsletter

Get timely DIY projects for your home and yard, plus a dream project for your wish list!

Follow Us