Curbside Battery Recycling

The Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability recently announced a new curbside battery collection service to collect and recycle batteries. Portlanders who live in a house, duplex, triplex or fourplex can now recycle their batteries by putting them in a one-quart bag and setting it out with their glass recycling. This new service makes it easy for residents to recycle batteries and addresses a rising problem across the country—battery-caused fires at recycling and waste facilities.
Any battery that fits in a sealed, one-quart bag can be set out for curbside collection. For batteries that say “alkaline” on the label, the battery can go right into a one-quart bag. If the label does not say “alkaline,” tape both ends of the battery with clear tape (or for button and coin-shaped batteries, wrap tape around the entire battery) before putting it in the bag. If you can’t tell what type of battery it is, tape it.
The sealed one-quart bag should be placed in a glass recycling bin, setting it on top of the glass so the waste collection driver sees it. Accepted batteries include AAA, AA, C, D, button-cell and coin, 6V and 9V; rechargeable and single-use; those labeled lithium, lithium-ion (L-ion), nickel cadmium (Ni-Cd), nickel metal hydride (Ni-MH) and nickel zinc (Ni-Zn); and small batteries that can easily be removed (old cell phones, cameras, etc.).
Some batteries are not accepted at the curb and must still be dropped off for safe disposal. Anything that makes noise, lights up, heats up or moves and does not plug into a wall has a battery. This includes wireless devices, fitness bands, electric toothbrushes, cell phones, laptops, some toys and even “singing” birthday cards. These types of items and others with batteries in them, like vape pens and e-cigarettes, must be dropped off for safe disposal. Call 503.234.3000 (Monday-Friday 8:30 am-5 pm) or go to oregonmetro.gov/askmetro for a drop-off location near you. These resources can also be accessed by people living in apartment buildings or workplaces that have batteries to dispose of.
Batteries should never be put in the trash or mixed recycling. Battery-caused fires in garbage trucks and at waste-processing facilities have increased dramatically in recent years. Not only do these fires put workers’ lives in danger and produce millions of dollars in damage, Portland Fire Marshall Kari Schimel said, “These fires can start and spread quickly, emitting large amounts of toxic smoke.”

Curbside Battery Recycling

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