Rechargeable Batteries: Not Regular Trash

posted 7/2/2018

Rechargeable batteries are not regular trash. The lithium inside that makes them rechargeable can ignite on contact with humid air.

If you’ve ever stepped outside during an Iowa summer, you know we are dripping with humidity! When trash is collected at your curb and brought to the landfill, it is compressed several times by heavy machinery.

If a rechargeable battery is in your trash, as soon as the outer shell is cracked from being run over, it can ignite on contact with humid air. This could cause the battery, along with the trash around it, to catch fire.

Rechargeable batteries can be recycled and are accepted at hazardous waste facilities for free. You can bring in just the battery or the device for recycling. Alkaline batteries, which are not hazardous and considered one-time use, are accepted for $1 per pound for recycling.

When your rechargeable batteries stop giving you a charge, don’t throw them in the trash! Drop them off at a hazardous waste drop-off or schedule a house-side collection (only available in select cities).

For more information about safe, smart disposal and recycling options, visit or call 515.244.0021.