It’s common to have spent batteries stashed in a drawer with the intention take them to a recycling drop-off someday. That someday can now be your weekly recycling collection day! All collection in unincorporated Clackamas County is happening now.
To recycle batteries simply tape the terminal ends of your rechargeable and button batteries first and put all acceptable batteries (see list below) in a 1-quart sealed plastic bag and place it in your glass recycling bin. Your garbage hauler will collect the bags and sell the batteries to a recycling company. Recycled batteries can become products like rubber, paint or ceramics. The metal from old batteries can become everyday household products like silverware, pots and pans, nails and new batteries.
Know what batteries to include
The following batteries can be recycled in the curbside program:
- Alkaline batteries such as AAAAs, AAAs, AAs, C, D (don't need ends taped), and 6-volt, 9-volt (need ends taped)
- Lithium ion and button batteries used in watches and cameras (need ends taped)
- Rechargeable batteries (need ends taped) and batteries packs used in laptops and cellphones
The following batteries are not accepted in the curbside program:
- Lead acid batteries: Take to a battery shop or a hazardous waste facility
- Electric bike batteries: Take to a hazardous waste facility
Don’t be a “wishful recycler”
Separating batteries reduces the risk of sparking a fire in a collection truck or at a transfer station as batteries rub against other batteries, metals or flammable materials. Although batteries have not been on the list of items that can be recycled, some people have placed them in recycling carts in hopes the material could be recycled, or thinking that batteries are made of metal and many items on the recycling list are metal. This practice is called “wishful recycling”.
While the intention is to recycle more, the result of “wishful recycling” makes recycling programs cost more and makes materials sent to recycling companies worth less.
Materials placed in the recycling cart not meant to be recycled is called contamination. Recycling companies want the purest material possible to send to manufacturers to make new products. Contamination causes issues in their processes. It’s important to recycle only what is on the list so our collective effort is successful. Review our recycle guide to make sure you are only recycling items in your weekly collection that manufacturers will actually use.
- Batteries should be placed in a cool, dry area away from potential heat sources, flammable materials, and metals.
- Damaged batteries should be placed immediately in an absorbent, nonflammable material such as kitty litter or sand. If the materials start to smoke or combust, call 911.
- Keep batteries away from children. Batteries can be toxic if swallowed or exposed.
- Never remove embedded or built-in rechargeable batteries. Some rechargeable batteries are not designed or intended to be removed. Contact Metro’s Recycling Information Center at 503- 234-3000 or use Find a Recycler tool for disposal options.
No. The batteries need to be in a 1-quart clear sealed plastic bag for the safety of our recycling collectors.120391
No. Properly prepared batteries should only be placed with your glass in your glass bin. It is important for batteries to be collected separately to reduce the risk of fire.
If you don’t have a glass bin, you can place your bag of batteries and glass in a plastic crate or bucket next to your recycling cart for pickup. Please call your collector to have a glass bin delivered to you.
Glass should not be placed in your recycling cart as it reduces the value of materials when it breaks in the recycling truck and gets mixed in with the other materials. If you don’t know your collector, find the information at www.clackamas.us/recycling/garbage/company.html.120391
If the battery cartridge is replaceable, it can be included with the ends taped. Never remove embedded or built-in rechargeable batteries. Some rechargeable batteries are not designed or intended to be removed. Check the manufacturer instructions for disposal. For additional questions for rechargeable batteries, contact Metro’s Recycling Information Center at 503-234-3000 or use the Find a Recycler tool.120391
Take your corroding, bulging or leaking batteries to a hazardous waste collection facility. Take lead acid batteries (automobile or motorcycle) to a battery shop.120391
Make certain the batteries are in a clear sealed bag and prepared properly. Sometimes there can be issues when new initiatives begin. If your batteries aren’t being picked-up please call your collector. If you don’t know your collector, find the information at www.clackamas.us/recycling/garbage/company.html.120391
This program is designed for single family recycling at this time. You can take batteries to a household hazardous waste facility, battery store or home improvement store. Find details at Metro’s Recycling Information Center at 503-234-3000 or use the Find a Recycler tool to learn where you can drop off batteries and other materials for reuse and recycling.120391
Have a question about other materials?
Find a Recycler: Look up easy options to recycle, donate or reuse anything from batteries and packing peanuts to that old dishwasher.
Metro Recycling Information Center: Call for your garbage and recycling questions at 503-234-3000.
Instagram: Check the posts and direct message pictures of questionable items to @recycleornot on Instagram.
Play the game: Test your recycling knowledge with this interactive game.