Welcome to GreenItUp, a database of common items, and how to reduce, reuse, and recycle them.

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Batteries

Most batteries contain hazardous chemicals and should be recycled. Recycling centers can remove certain chemicals and reprocess them for new batteries.

Includes cell phone batteries, car batteries, camera batteries, laptop batteries, and typical household (AA, AAA, 9V, etc) batteries.

The environmental effect of batteries can vary depending on how the batteries are made and what chemicals they contain. These factors also affect the performance of the batteries depending on what the batteries are used for. I recommend reading this article on Earth 911 that describes common types of batteries, their best-suited applications, and how they’re recycled.


Use rechargeable batteries instead of single-use batteries. NiMH rechargeable batteries generally last longer per use than single-use batteries in high-drain devices like digital cameras.

Rechargeables gradually lose life as they’re repeatedly discharged and recharged. You can extend the overall life of your battery on some devices by using the AC adapter when possible (such as for a laptop).

Extend battery life by turning off the device when not in use and reducing the power drain by configuring the device. For example, on a laptop, you can turn off the wireless card and activate a self-timed sleep mode, hard drive power-down, and monitor dimming/power-down feature.

Purchase non-battery-powered versions of devices, such as solar-powered instead of battery-powered calculators.


Rechargeable batteries are reusable. :o |


Most cell phone retailers accept used cell phone batteries for recycling. See the cell phone article for more details.

Many electronics stores (Best Buy, Radio Shack, etc.) have battery recycling collection bins.

For car batteries, check your local auto shop, oil change shop, or auto parts store to see if they take them.

Lookup battery recycling locations using the search tool at Earth 911.


Many batteries contain hazardous chemicals (mercury, cadmium,…), so should be recycled when they reach the end of their life. See the Recycle section above.

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