The following list of batteries has special disposal requirements. They must either be managed as a hazardous waste, reclaimed under MN Rules 7045.0685, or recycled as prescribed by the Federal Universal Waste Rules (40CFR 273).
- Lead-acid (vehicle) batteries
- Lithium ion batteries
- Lithium batteries, larger than 9 volts
- Mercury oxide batteries
- Nickel-cadmium batteries
- Nickel metal hydride batteries
- Nickel zinc batteries
- Sealed lead acid batteries
- Silver oxide batteries
Alkaline or Carbon Zinc
Mainly produced in the following sizes: A, AA, AAA, C, D, N, 9-volt and lantern; these batteries are commonly used in cameras, calculators, flashlights, smoke detectors and other products. They are non-hazardous (if the alkaline battery is produced after 1993), non-rechargeable and have limited recycling options. In general, they may be disposed of with your regular garbage; confirm with your county environmental office. Consider using rechargeable alkaline batteries as an alternative to single-use alkaline batteries to reduce the number of waste batteries.
Unless an exemption is granted, Minnesota Statutes §115A.9157 prohibits the disposal of all rechargeable batteries, including battery packs and any device containing rechargeable batteries or battery packs, with solid waste. The Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC) accepts lithium ion, nickel cadmium, nickel metal hydride, nickel zinc and sealed lead acid batteries (under 2 pounds) and pays for recycling. The generator pays for the shipping and container cost. For more information, visit the RBRC web site or call (800) 822-8837.
Lithium ion batteries are non-hazardous, recyclable and rechargeable. They are commonly used in laptop computers, cellular phones, camcorders and lightweight portable electronic devices.
Nickel-Cadmium batteries (labeled Ni-Cd) are recyclable and rechargeable and must be managed as a hazardous waste or recycled under the Federal Universal Waste Rules (40CFR 273). These batteries are commonly used in power tools, cordless phones and radios.
Nickel Metal Hydride
Nickel Metal Hydride batteries (labeled NiMH) are non-hazardous, recyclable and rechargeable. They are commonly used in computers, cellular phones and camcorders.
Nickel-Zinc batteries (labeled NiZn) are non-hazardous, recyclable and rechargeable. They are used in cordless power tools, cordless telephones, digital cameras, battery operated lawn and garden tools, and other products.
Sealed Lead Acid
Sealed Lead Acid (labeled SLA) batteries are recyclable and rechargeable and must be managed as a hazardous waste or recycled under the Federal Universal Waste Rules (40CFR 273). They are commonly used in emergency power and camcorders. Since the composition of SLA batteries is similar to motor vehicle batteries (lead acid batteries), lead acid battery retail outlets and transporters may accept your spent SLA batteries. Or, contact your battery supplier for collection and recycling opportunities.
Lead Acid Batteries
Lead acid batteries are those used in most motor vehicles. Because they contain toxic substances, Minnesota Statutes §115A.915 prohibits disposal of lead-acid batteries with solid waste. Minnesota Statutes §325E.1151 provides for proper disposal and recycling of lead acid batteries by stating: 1) a person who sells lead acid batteries at retail must accept up to five lead acid batteries from consumers and may not charge to receive the lead acid batteries; and 2) a person who purchases a lead acid battery must return a lead acid battery to the retailer or pay the retailer a $5 core charge. Some scrap metal processors may also accept lead acid batteries for recycling.
Any lithium battery (often labeled Li or CR) larger than 9 volts, or a smaller lithium battery that has not been fully discharged, is considered a hazardous waste, unless test results show the battery to be non-hazardous. Unless managed under the Federal Universal Waste Rules (40CFR 273), businesses that generate hazardous lithium batteries must manage them as a hazardous waste. See Hazardous Waste Brokers, Transporters and Disposal Facilities. A small (9 volts or less), fully discharged lithium battery is considered non-hazardous and non-recyclable. These batteries may generally be disposed with your regular garbage; confirm with your county environmental office. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) strongly recommends that businesses completely use up lithium batteries prior to discarding them. This reduces the number of waste batteries and may render the batteries non-hazardous, resulting in reduced disposal costs.
Mercuric Oxide and Silver Oxide
Mercury and silver batteries are recyclable, non-rechargeable and must be managed as a hazardous waste or recycled under the Federal Universal Waste Rules (40CFR 273). These batteries are typically button or coin shaped, although many silver batteries used for cameras and fencing are larger. Although Minnesota law has prohibited the sale of mercury batteries since February 1, 1992, mercury batteries are still in use. Minnesota law prohibits the disposal of silver and mercury batteries with your regular garbage. Contact your battery supplier or the battery manufacturer to inquire about available mercury and silver battery collection programs, or ship your mercury and silver batteries to a hazardous waste disposal or battery reclamation facility. See Mercury and Mercury-Containing Products, and/or Hazardous Waste Brokers, Transporters and Disposal Facilities for disposal options.
Zinc Air batteries are non-hazardous, non-recyclable and non-rechargeable. These batteries are typically button or coin shaped, and used as replacements for mercuric oxide batteries in cameras and hearing aids. These batteries may generally be disposed with your regular garbage; confirm with your county environmental office.
For more information on managing spent batteries, call your county environmental office or the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) at (651) 296-6300.