How to Dispose of Lithium Batteries

Lithium and lithium-ion batteries are quite commonly used in various small electronic devices such as mobile phones, laptops, digital cameras and several cordless power tools. In the US, they are classified as non-hazardous batteries. It means that lithium and lithium-ion batteries are recyclable so you can dispose of them at a battery recycling center.

If you care about the environment and want to contribute your part to a greener and safer living Earth, then knowing how to dispose of lithium batteries in the right way is a must.

Now that you want to know how to do so check the article below for more information on how to dispose of lithium batteries, why you should dispose of them properly and the guided steps on how to do so.

So, what are lithium batteries

Lithium batteries are varied in different shapes and sizes. You can use them for small household electric appliances including mobile phones, watches, and laptops, to name just a few. There are two types of lithium batteries including rechargeable lithium batteries which are made of lithium material. The second type of lithium batteries is non-rechargeable one, which is made of salts of lithium.

You can check for the information on whether the batteries you are using are lithium batteries or not by checking in the specification of the product which the manufacturer has listed.

When you take your lithium and lithium ion batteries to a recycling site, lithium salt concentrate, copper, stainless steel as well as other components are extracted. And then you can use them for making other products.

What are lithium batteries

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Why should you dispose of lithium batteries properly

In terms of economic value, when you recycle a lithium battery, it would be more expensive and cost more energy to produce a new one. Also, lithium-ion batteries also contain a small amount of lithium, which is not economical if you recycle them.

However, there are certain reasons to explain why you should send them to the recycling center.

Why should you dispose of lithium batteries properly

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  • First of all, it is more dangerous to discard lithium batteries in the landfills. Lithium metal, when you expose it to water, you can heat them up quickly and ignite a fire. In the past, lithium batteries were one of the main reasons for the Dubai plane crash happening in 2010. When lithium batteries cause a fire, the problem can get worse as there are paper and cardboard as well. It would be really hard to extinguish the fire.
  • More seriously, lithium batteries can lead to a very high current, which in turn causes rapid discharge and finally explode. A sudden explosion might unwontedly lead to the deaths of the people who are working nearby the sites.
  • Also, although lithium is not a rare metal, it would run out in the next few decades. In fact, there are studies which found out that lithium reserves will be running out by 2050 if there is high demand for this metal. Besides, the demand for electric vehicles is increasing.
  • Last but not least, lithium ion batteries are a toxic material which can cause serious problems to our health and our environment. Therefore, you should dispose them of in the right place to prevent these negative impacts from happening to our surroundings as well as our health.

When should you recycle your lithium batteries

You can consult about the time you should change your lithium batteries in the manual books that come along with the electrical product you purchase. Lithium batteries can last for a long time, they still have their own shelf life.

There are also several factors besides time that determines when you need to dispose of your lithium batteries. For example, extreme heat can deteriorate the quality of the lithium batteries and reduce their shelf life.

Also, if you often use the electric device and tend to discharge and recharging, consider disposing of the lithium batteries of this product more often.

Additionally, when your batteries are dead completely, it is time you get new batteries and discard the old ones.

When should you recycle your lithium batteries

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How to Dispose of Lithium Batteries

Step 1: To save yourself a lot of time in the future. First, you should look around your house to identify which appliances with lithium batteries that you need to change. Then gather all of these batteries and put them into separate plastic bags.

Step 2: Find a place that collects and recycles lithium and lithium-ion batteries. You can look up for such a site on the internet. A popular website which contains such information is All you need to do is entering your zip code, and it will show you the nearest sites. Some popular retailers such as RadioShack or Target do collect and recycle lithium batteries so that you can check out on them as well.

Step 3:  Finally, decide where you are going to dispose of your lithium and lithium-ion batteries. Then, you should call the place to add about the time when you can come by and drop off these batteries. If you have anything in mind at the disposal of these batteries, you should also ask them.

Step 4: Make sure that you put these batteries in separate plastic bags. If you don’t have any plastic bag, you can cover these with duct tape or masking tape separately.

Step 5: Finally, bring your lithium and lithium ion to the battery recycling sites.


Here are all of the things that you need to know about how to dispose of lithium batteries properly. I hope that with the guide above, you would be able to get rid of your unused batteries rightly and do your part to help save the environment.

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