Household batteries are difficult products to recycle because they are made from so many different materials and are hazardous too – they need specialist handling. The specification for the Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs), which sort north Londoners’ recycling into the different individual materials does not include batteries. The environmental permits for the MRFs that we use also do not permit them to accept hazardous waste, so please do not include batteries in the recycling. If found in the recycling batteries are classified as a contaminant in recycling loads.
You can take used batteries to be recycled at certain retailers. From February 2010, any shop selling more than 32kg of batteries a year (approximately 345 x four-packs of AA batteries each year) have to provide battery recycling collection facilities in-store. Lithium batteries (used in things like laptops) must be placed in a plastic bag before going into a battery recycling bin because they cause fire risk when mixed with other battery types.
Find your nearest battery recycling point by visiting the Recycle Now website (opens in a new window).
Reduce waste and save money!
You can reduce waste by using rechargeable batteries and/or plugging electrical equipment into the mains electricity when at home. Or consider using appliances that use renewable energy - a wind-up radio or torch, dynamo bicycle lights, or a solar-powered calculator.