Alkaline Batteries

Alkaline batteries in the state of Tennessee can be safely disposed of as stated in  “The Mercury-Containing and Rechargeable Battery Management Act - Public Law 104-142” passing in 1996. The Act determined mercury-containing batteries were not to be produced anymore. Alkaline batteries produced today contain no mercury or acid and can safely discard in the trash. Alkaline batteries are corrosive but do not contain acid, as the battery solution is a base. Therefore, they are called alkaline batteries. Batteries that have the recycle symbol SHOULD NOT be placed in regular recycle containers but managed separately as a SPECIAL RECYCLED COMMODITY.

There are lithium batteries that are one-time use called Lithium Primary Batteries. These are used in small household appliances such as flashlights, radios, and other items. They come in a different range of sizes from AA to button batteries and it is highly advised that you look at your batteries before adding them to your waste stream. Lithium batteries of any kind do not go into the waste stream. They must be recycled properly and separately from other batteries. More information about lithium battery management is listed in the section on lithium batteries.

Alkaline battery terminals need to be taped with a nonconductive material if the battery is over 9 volts so that the terminals do not contact other battery terminals. Here are some examples:

  • Electrical tape
  • Packing tape
  • Duct tape

* If batteries are going to be sent to a recycler, try not to cover the entire battery so that sorters can determine type.

This Page Last Updated: November 16, 2022 at 3:01 PM