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​​Battery Disposal                

Below are local options for rechargeable battery recycling drop-off in and near Ann Arbor: Home Toxics​


Battery Type

How to Identify

Proper Disposal







Labeled as "Rechargeable" and/or Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd or Ni-Cad), Nickel Metal Oxy-Hydride (Ni-MH), Lithium Ion (Li-Ion), Nickel Zinc (Ni-Zn). 

Rechargeable batteries can be in many forms including regular AAA to D sizes, cell phone, camera, laptop batteries.


Take rechargeable batteries to one of the many free drop-off locations (including many stores) listed on or on the city’s website here.

They can also be taken for recycling to Washtenaw County’s Home Toxics Center or Recycle Ann Arbor's Drop-Off Station

Batteries must be individually bagged or sealed with clear tape over positive (+) end for proper recycling.**


Rechargeable batteries contain heavy metals such as nickel, cadmium, or lithium and cannot be safely placed in municipal land-fills. 




Alkaline (Single Use)



Individual batteries or packaging may say "Alkaline" or "single-use."


Used alkaline (non-rechargeable) batteries can be placed in trash to be landfilled.*

Batteries Plus on Packard accepts alkaline batteries for recycling for $1 per pound.  Battery ends must be taped for transport.

Washtenaw County's Home Toxics Center also accepts alkaline batteries.



A United States federal law in 1996 banned adding mercury to alkaline batteries.  With the absence of toxic mercury, alkaline batteries are safe for municipal landfills. 



Automotive (Lead-Acid)


Lead Acid batteries are found in most gas-combustion engines.  These are large, long-lasting batteries used to provide electricity to vehicles


Return vehicle batteries to designated locations for proper recycling, including Washtenaw County's Home Toxics Center and Recycle Ann Arbor's Drop-Off Station.  

State retailers are required to accept a used automotive battery with purchase of a new one.

Do not place on curb or in carts for pick-up.



Lead acid batteries contain toxic substances such as lead and sulfuric acid which cannot be safely placed in municipal landfills.  Once recycled, much of the content is re-used in new car batteries.




Button-cell batteries resemble buttons in size and shape and are used in items such as watches and hearing aids.



Single-use "button-cell" batteries should be recycled.  They can be brought to Recycle Ann Arbor's Drop-Off Station, Washtenaw County's Home Toxics Center, and a few specific locations such as Batteries Plus and Interstate All Battery Center.


Single-use button-cell batteries still contain small amounts of mercury and should be recycled, when possible.


         Lithium Single-Use


Single-use long-lasting lithium batteries will be labeled “Lithium” or “Li”.  Some examples are Energizer’s Ultimate Lithium or Advanced Lithium batteries. They should not be confused with rechargeable “Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)” batteries. For Lithium-Ion see "Rechargeable."


Single-use long lasting lithium batteries should be recycled.  They can be brought to Recycle Ann Arbor's Drop-Off Station, Washtenaw County's Home Toxics Center, and a few specific locations such as Batteries Plus and Interstate All Battery Center.


Single-use lithium batteries contain small amounts of toxic heavy metals and should be recycled, when possible.

* ​Alkaline update: Batteries Plus accepts non-rechargeable (alkaline) batteries for $1.00/pound--please seal both ends with clear tape. Interstate All Battery Center accepts alkaline batteries at no charge up to 10 pounds, then $.60/lbs. thereafter. The Home Toxics Center takes residential alkaline batteries to send to a hazardous waste landfill. *Recycle Ann Arbor's Drop-Off Station no longer accepts alkaline batteries for recycling.

Since July 5, 2010, the City of Ann Arbor no longer accepts household batteries or motor oil from curbside recycling pickup.  This is part of the city's move to providing single-stream recycling using automated collection of recycling carts.  Toxic materials cannot mix with comingled papers and clean containers.

**In 2009, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) placed restrictions (pdf) on the management and shipment of batteries.  Under the new regulations, all rechargeable batteries must be sealed with clear tape on the positive ends (or placed in individual baggies) before being shipped for recycling.  These precautions prevent battery terminals from coming in contact with each other or any metal surface and possibly causing a fire during transportation.

Return to 

Rechargeable battery recycling locations (new web page).

Call2Recycle Rechargable Battery Recycling Guide (pdf)

 For-fee battery mail-back program with Battery Solutions,  
handles all types of batteries
Web link or 800.852.8127

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