It’s Fall and time to replace Smoke-Detector and Home-Alarm Batteries, but what to do with the Spent Batteries?

Posted on October 1, 2023


Yes, you need to recycle your old batteries.  Batteries, a necessity of modern life, contain toxic chemicals. If placed in a landfill, these chemicals leak, contaminate groundwater, and damage ecosystems. Transportation of trashed batteries is also a hazard, with a number of battery-caused refuse truck fires reported every year. Finally, the chemicals needed for the green revolution are in those spent batteries. Properly recycling batteries allows these chemicals to be recovered, avoiding additional mining for raw materials.

How to recycle spent batteries?

The cost and convenience of recycling batteries depend upon the type of battery.

Rechargeable batteries can be easily recycled for free. In our area, Staples, Home Depot, or Lowes recycle rechargeable batteries. Rechargeable types include nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd), lithium-ion (Li-Ion), small sealed lead acid (SSLA/Pb), nickel metal hydride (Ni-MH), and nickel-zinc (Ni-Zn) batteries. The battery recycle bins are usually at the front of the store, and the batteries can be dropped off.

Safe disposal of standard alkaline batteries is more problematic. Currently, Batteries Plus recycles alkaline batteries at a charge of $1/lb. Some communities have battery-recycle drives that include alkaline batteries.

Shomrei Olam – Jewish Environmental Advocates of Cincinnati offers recycling drives that include free collection/recycling of alkaline batteries. For details, see their webpage at

Tip: Modern Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors contain a 10-year Lithium-Ion battery that significantly reduces the need for limited-lifetime alkaline batteries.

Battery Recycle Plant coming to Cincinnati Area. With the advent of smart devices and electric vehicles, there is a growing market for recycled Lithium-Ion materials. This fall, Nth Cycle will open a full-scale Lithium-Ion battery recycle plant in nearby Fairfield. This plant will make recycling of rechargeable lithium batteries more convenient and cost-effective. Watch for it!

Happy recycling!

See: Nth Cycle to Open Ohio Plant to Reclaim Battery Metals | Transport Topics (


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