• batterygroup1

Safe Disposal of Batteries

Batteries power our daily lives, but eventually reach their end of life and must be disposed of properly. It is illegal to put batteries in the trash. 
 
Proper disposal of batteries helps prevent potentially hazardous materials in batteries (such as lithium, cadmium, and nickel) from harming the environment. It also protects waste workers and equipment from possible fires as batteries can get crushed inside recycling and/or trash compactors. On September 7, 2016, our recycling facility at the Shoreway Environmental Center had a fire that was likely caused by a  lithium-ion battery and caused a 4-alarm fire. Thankfully, all staff were evacuated safely, but it cost over $8.5 million in damages to our recycling-sorting equipment. 
 
Find out how you can dispose of batteries safely and easily in the RethinkWaste service area below. 

Single-Family Residents
Single-family residents in the RethinkWaste service area can conveniently dispose of household batteries at the curb! Simply place household batteries (no auto batteries) in a zip-top plastic bag and place on the lid of your blue Recycle Cart on your collection day. Please tape lithium-ion batteries before placing in the zip-top bag.
Multi-Family Residents
Multi-family residents in a dwelling of five or more units can request a free orange battery bucket from Recology San Mateo County. (Residents living in four or less units can place batteries in a zip-top bag and place on top of their blue Recycle Cart on collection day). The bucket can be placed in a common area, such as a lobby, multi-use room, mail room, or clubhouse – for residents to place their bagged batteries in a collection bucket.

If you're a resident, ask your property manager/owner to get a bucket for your building(s) from Recology San Mateo County.

Drop-Off Locations
There are a handful of convenient and free drop-off locations in the RethinkWaste service area, including the Shoreway Environmental Center, to drop-off batteries. See the map below. Please call the location before heading out to make sure they are open and if there is a limit.

For more drop-off locations beyond just household batteries, check out RecycleStuff.org.


San Mateo County's Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Facility
If you have other hazardous waste to dispose of in addition to batteries, consider making an appointment for a HHW drop-off event near you. San Mateo County has a permanent facility in San Mateo that is open Thursday, Friday, and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (except major holiday weekends) and temporary events throughout the County, including RethinkWaste member agencies such as East Palo Alto, Foster City, Menlo Park, and Redwood City. You can make an appointment by going to www.smchealth.org/hhw.

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