Battery Recycling

What are single-use batteries?

Single-use batteries are typically alkaline, lithium primary or carbon-zinc batteries. Once they lose their charge, they can’t be used again. It is important to recycle single-use batteries, not only to save valuable space in the solid waste stream but also to reuse our natural resources. Some provinces require the recycling of all batteries, including single-use.

What are rechargeable batteries?

Rechargeable batteries are batteries you use more than once; they are designed for long-term use. You either plug them into a charger or they charge while in the device. Some rechargeable batteries can contain potentially harmful materials, such as heavy metals like lead, cadmium and nickel. Rechargeable batteries should always be recycled and in some states or provinces, recycling is the law.

Do you collect single-use batteries?

Yes both single-use and rechargeable batteries are collected in Canada.

What are the most common uses for and single-use and rechargeable batteries?

You typically find single-use batteries in toys, flashlights, remote controls, smoke alarms and some handheld gaming systems. You’ll find that many common household cordless electronics use rechargeable batteries, including cellphones, cordless power tools, laptop computers, digital cameras, two-way radios, MP3 players/iPods, tablets and cordless phones to name just a few. Check the battery’s label to identify its type.

What batteries can I recycle?

We accept all rechargeable batteries weighing up to 5 kg each, including Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd), Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH), Lithium Ion (Li-Ion), Nickel Zinc (Ni-Zn) and Small Sealed Lead Acid (SSLA/Pb). We also accept alkaline, lithium primary and carbon-zinc batteries.

 

What batteries need to be individually bagged?

Lithium Ion (Li-Ion), Small Sealed Lead Acid (SSLA/Pb) rechargeable batteries and lithium primary batteries must be individually bagged or have their terminals covered with tape before they are shipped. Other battery types do not need to be individually bagged. If you are not sure what chemistry your battery is, then please bag it to be on the safe side.

What is recycled from the batteries I turn in?

  • Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd) batteries: The cadmium is used to make new Ni-Cd batteries or as a stiffener in materials such as cement.
  • Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) batteries: The cobalt is used to create new lithium-based batteries.
  • Small Sealed Lead Acid (SSLA/Pb) batteries: The lead is used to make new batteries.
  • Ni-Cd, Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) and Nickel Zinc (Ni-Zn) batteries: The nickel is used in stainless steel products.

Why is it so important to recycle batteries? Don’t they last forever?

Single-use batteries lose their charge and cannot be recharged. Rechargeable batteries lose their ability to hold a charge after 1,000 charges or 2-5 years, depending on how often they are used and if they are handled and charged properly. At that point, they cannot be used. We encourage you to recycle both kinds instead of throwing them in the trash.

Is it illegal to throw away batteries in the trash?

Some provinces have made it illegal to dispose of batteries in the regular trash. They are considered potentially toxic material. Regardless of the law, it’s smart to recycle them and keep them from entering the solid waste stream and potentially harming the environment.

What is a wet-cell battery?

A wet-cell battery is the original type of rechargeable battery. It is commonly found in aviation, electric utilities, energy storage and cellphone towers. The battery contains a liquid electrolyte such as sulfuric acid, a dangerous corrosive liquid that damages what it comes into contact with.

Do you collect wet-cell batteries?

Call2Recyle currently accepts only dry-cell batteries weighing up to 5 kg each. We do not accept wet-cell batteries for recycling. Visit the Canadian Battery Association’s RecycleMyBattery website to find out where you can recycle these batteries. 

 

Do you collect car batteries?

We do not accept car batteries for recycling. You can contact your local auto repair/parts store or community solid waste program/transfer stations for recycling information. The Canadian Battery Association’s RecycleMyBattery website can also help you find a nearby site that accepts car batteries for recycling.