How to dispose Li-ion cells?

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How to dispose Li-ion cells?


What is the proper way to dispose 18650 Li-ion batteries? Can I discharge them and put them along with the used alkaline batteries. Then drop them off at various batteries recycle collection points (like libraries, Home Depot, Staples, etc.)

Lightbringer's picture
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Got any reckless Ukrainians living nearby?

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Last seen: 1 week 3 days ago
Joined: 07/24/2012 - 15:36
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Location: Finland

Well, that’s what I do with them. Just put some tape over the poles to prevent shorting them and drop them to the box…

hank's picture
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Location: Berkeley, California

Don’t mix li-ion cells with ordinary trash pickup or battery recycling bins. They cause fires.

The answer obviously depends on where you live. You can call your city/county waste management agency.

Or you can try searching, like this:
(turn on the toggle that allows the search engine to know where you are, for more accurate results)

Where to Recycle Batteries | Energizer
Earth911 has an accurate Recycling Locator for all types of batteries where you enter your ZIP code to find the nearest battery recycling center –
please see the Earth911 [on the Energizer website linked above]

Call2Recycle also offers a network of over 34,000 local recycling centers and drop-off locations for rechargeable batteries, including local municipalities …

RobertB's picture
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Location: USA, Michigan

You can take a bucket and mix brine water. Toss them in (outdoors) and let them set a day or two, and they will be completely dead.

Since lithium ion batteries have no lithium metal in them, they are safe to discharge in a bucket of salt water.

According to the U.S. government, lithium ion batteries aren’t an environmental hazard. “Lithium Ion batteries are classified by the federal government as non-hazardous waste and are safe for disposal in the normal municipal waste stream,” says Kate Krebs at the National Recycling Coalition. While other types of batteries include toxic metals such as cadmium, the metals in lithium ion batteries – cobalt, copper, nickel and iron – are considered safe for landfills or incinerators (Interestingly enough, lithium ion batteries contain an ionic form of lithium but no lithium metal)
TexasToasted's picture
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Location: Texas Gulf Coast

I have a few high power 4 Ohm resistors I use to fully drain my old cells. I’ve got a pile of old, dead, laptop pulls I need to take to Best Buy and drop in their battery bin.

djozz's picture
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In my place I bring them to the local waste facility (there are separate containers for all kinds of waste, and a sorting table for electrical appliances) and they collect li-ions separately from the other batteries. I assume that they will recycle the materials.