Jeffrey B. Banke / Shutterstock.com Batteries (Single-Use) Alternative ways to recycle Illegal in Garbage & Drains Hazardous Waste E-Waste Jeffrey B. Banke / Shutterstock.com ALERT: Department of Transportation (DOT) Law Regarding Battery Disposal Many types of batteries must be taped or placed in individual plastic bags prior to disposal to prevent a possible spark. This will reduce the risk of fire during storage and transportation. Please tape over the positive terminal of the following batteries, or place them in individual plastic bags: Alkaline batteries that are 9-volts or greater Lithium batteries: found in cameras, computers, watches (for small, circular batteries, tape around the entire battery) NiCad, Zinc Chloride and rechargeable batteries (found in cellphones, power tools, toys) FREE Drop-Off at West Contra Costa Household Hazardous Waste Facility Residents may, for free, safely and properly dispose of any and all types of batteries at the West County HHW Collection Facility. FREE Battery Drop-Off at Retail Stores, Government Locations and Community Centers Residents may also drop off household batteries for recycling at the many battery drop-off locations throughout the West Contra Costa County region. See list of locations for El Cerrito, Hercules, El Sobrante, Richmond, San Pablo, and Pinole below. El Cerrito El Cerrito Recycling Center, 7501 Schmidt Ln, 215-4350 El Sobrante Oliver’s Hardware, 4071 San Pablo Dam Rd, 223-4450 Pinole Pinole City Hall, 2131 Pear St, 724-9010 Pinole Senior Center, 2500 Charles Ave, 724-9802 Pinole Community Center, 635 Tennent Ave, 724-9062 Richmond Richmond City Hall, 450 Civic Center Plaza, 620-6512 West County Resource Recovery, 101 Pittsburg Ave, 888-412-9277 Whale Point Marine & Hardware Co., 205 Cutting Blvd, 233-1988 San Pablo San Pablo City Hall, 1000 Gateway Avenue, 215-3055 San Pablo Senior Center, 1943 Church Ln, 215-3096 Never Throw in the Trash Batteries are banned from the trash because they contain metals and other toxic and corrosive chemicals that can leach into the environment. All batteries, including sizes AAA, AA, C, and D, need to be disposed of as Household Hazardous Waste. Alternative Ways to Recycle The Battery Solutions Recycling Program Battery Solutions offers battery recycling kits and services to businesses, municipalities, and residences. Their programs aim to help people recycle their batteries properly and conveniently. Learn more. The Big Green Box Battery Recycling Program The Big Green Box is a mail-in battery recycling program for both residences and businesses. Their system is simple: order a box, fill it up with your used batteries, and then ship it back to the company’s EPA-approved recycling center. Learn more. Ways to Reduce Buy Rechargeable Batteries Most single-use batteries can be replaced by rechargeable ones. Consider switching batteries so you can reduce how much hazardous waste you generate. Today’s rechargeable batteries are even made to have the same battery life as single-use ones. Conserve Battery Life Turn off battery-powered devices when not in use and avoid exposing electronics to cold conditions to get as much use possible from batteries. Did You Know? Battery Explodes in Garbage Truck One battery recently caused an explosion in a UK garbage truck, starting a fire and contaminating over six tons of recycling. Because batteries contain chemicals that can ignite, it is important to dispose of them correctly, and not just toss them in with other trash or recycling. Battery Technology Innovations “A battery will do for the electricity supply chain what refrigeration did to our food supply chain,” said MIT electrochemist Donald Sadoway in a Grist article. Sadoway and his peers are developing new battery technology using materials such as molten metal and saltwater. The energy storage capacity of these technologies could lead to a new era for electric cars and the electricity grid.