Batteries are managed as universal waste.

Battery means a device consisting of one or more electrically connected electrochemical cells which is designed to receive, store, and deliver electric energy.   An electrochemical cell is a system consisting of an anode, cathode, and an electrolyte, plus such connections (electrical and mechanical) that may be needed to allow the cell to deliver or receive electrical energy. The term battery also includes an intact, unbroken battery from which the electrolyte has been removed.

State and Federal Regulations

Many states have regulations in place requiring battery recycling. The US Congress passed the Mercury-Containing and Rechargeable Battery Act (PDF) (9 pp, 134K, about PDFin 1996 to make it easier for rechargeable battery and product manufacturers to collect and recycle Ni-CD batteries and certain small sealed lead-acid batteries. For these regulated batteries, the act requires the following:

  • Batteries must be easily removable from consumer products, to make it easier to recover them for recycling.
  • Battery labels must include the battery chemistry, the “three chasing arrows” symbol, and a phrase indicating that the user must recycle or dispose of the battery properly.
  • National uniformity in collection, storage, and transport of certain batteries.
  • Phase out the use of certain mercury-containing batteries.

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