What are the different battery types? How do I know what batteries I have?

You can learn about the various battery types here. Recycle Your Batteries, Canada! accepts household batteries weighing up to 5 kg.

What are single-use batteries?

Single-use batteries (also sometimes called “primary batteries”) are batteries that, once they lose their charge, cannot be used again. They are typically alkaline, lithium primary or carbon-zinc batteries. 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. Learn more about battery types here.

What are rechargeable batteries?

Rechargeable batteries are batteries you can use again after their charge runs out. 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 hazardous waste materials, such as heavy metals like lead, cadmium and nickel. Rechargeable batteries should always be recycled. Learn more about battery types here.

Does Recycle Your Batteries, Canada! collect single-use batteries?

Yes, the program collects both single-use and rechargeable batteries.

Does Recycle Your Batteries, Canada! collect rechargeable batteries?

Yes, the program collects both single-use and rechargeable batteries.

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

Single-use batteries are typically found in toys, flashlights, remote controls, smoke alarms, headsets, and some handheld gaming systems. Many common household electronics use rechargeable batteries, including cordless power tools, digital cameras, two-way radios to name just a few. 

What is a dry-cell battery?

A dry cell battery is a type of electric battery commonly used for portable electrical devices. A dry cell uses a paste electrolyte, with only enough moisture to allow current to flow. Unlike a wet cell, a dry cell can operate in any orientation without spilling, as it contains no free liquid, making it suitable for portable equipment.

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?

Recycle Your Batteries, Canada! only accepts 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?

The Recycle Your Batteries, Canada! program does 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 regarding car batteries. The Canadian Battery Association’s RecycleMyBattery website can also help you find a nearby site that accepts car batteries for recycling.

As of January 1, 2021, the program also recycles the rechargeable lithium batteries (weighing up to 5 kg) used to power e-bikes and e-scooters. 

Do you collect cellphones?

In the regulated provinces of British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Prince Edward Island, cell phones and their chargers and accessories can be recycled or refurbished through the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association program called RecycleMyCell. In other provinces, The Recycle Your Batteries, Canada! program accepts all types of cell phones on a voluntary basis.

Do you accept batteries from electric bicycles and electric scooters?

Yes. The program also recycles the rechargeable lithium batteries weighing up to 5 kg that are used to power e-bikes and e-scooters. Please note, however, that collection of e-bike and e-scooter batteries can be done only through retail outlets in our collection network that sell e-bikes and e-scooters. For more information about our e-bike and e-scooter collection and recycling program, click here.

Are all batteries recyclable?

The Recycle Your Batteries, Canada! program accepts all household batteries weighing up to 5 kg each for recycling along with batteries from e-bikes and e-scooters.

Why should I recycle my batteries?

We use battery-powered products in almost every aspect of our daily lives—for toys and games to television remotes and smoke detectors. Each year billions of batteries end up in landfills, where the toxic metals they contain can enter the waste stream and harm the environment. The Recycle Your Batteries, Canada! program diverts these potentially harmful materials from the solid waste stream and safely recycles them for use in new products. By dropping off your batteries for recycling you are helping to:

  • Keep potentially harmful materials out of our landfill and waste stream.
  • Keep people and property safe.If batteries are improperly disposed of at their end-of-life, they can short circuit or overheat and cause a fire.
  • Reduce the dependency of mining for virgin materials by capturing metals that can be reused as input for manufacturing new products such as bicycles, pots and pans or even new batteries.

Is it illegal to throw batteries into the trash?

Recycling is the safest and most responsible thing to do with your used batteries to protect your home, community and the environment from fire safety risks and hazardous materials. Provinces including British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Prince Edward Island have enacted legislation requiring batteries be responsibly recycled at their end of life.  In these provinces, batteries are considered hazardous waste material and must not be thrown in the garbage or regular recycling bin. 

How do I recycle with Recycle Your Batteries, Canada!?

The program is simple. Gather your used batteries (weighing up to 5 kg each). Find a Recycle Your Batteries, Canada! collection site near you by visiting the online locator tool. Bring your batteries to the location and drop them in the used battery collection box. It is free and it’s that easy! 

Once full, the collection box is transported to sorting partners where the batteries are sorted by chemistry, and then sent to recycling processors, where they are broken into their component parts for reuse in new products. 

What safety precautions should I take when recycling my batteries?

Even when they appear dead, batteries can contain a residual charge which may cause the battery to spark if it comes into contact with another metal object such as another battery, keys, or scissors.  This is why it’s important not to toss old batteries into a junk drawer or box without properly protecting them.  In particular, Lithium Ion (Li-Ion), Small Sealed Lead Acid (SSLA) rechargeable batteries and lithium primary batteries must be individually bagged or have their terminals covered using electrical tape, duct tape or packing tape, before they are dropped into Recycle Your Batteries, Canada! boxes to avoid sparking. Alternatively, these batteries can be safely protected by placing each in a clear, sealable plastic bag.  

Other battery types do not need to be individually bagged or taped. If you are not sure of your battery chemistry, click here to learn more about what should be individually bagged or taped, or simply bag the battery to be on the safe side.

Recycle Your Batteries, Canada! will recycle the batteries and the recyclable bags used to safely protect the batteries

Where can I drop off my batteries for recycling?

Recycle Your Batteries, Canada! online drop-off locator can help you quickly find the nearest location to you in Canada. These locations include major retailers, municipal depots, community centres, and public agencies. We also collects batteries from private collection sites at hospitals, military bases, businesses and government agencies. 

How much does it cost to recycle my batteries with the Recycle Your Batteries, Canada! program?

There is no extra charge to recycle your batteries through the Recycle Your Batteries, Canada! collection program.

What happens to the batteries after I drop them at a Recycle Your Batteries, Canada! collection box?

All of our collected batteries are sent to sorters and then, based on their chemical composition, they are processed for recycling. The batteries are broken down into their component parts where their reusable materials are then sold on the open market to be used as input for the manufacturing of new products including batteries, cement additives, and goods made from stainless steel including bicycles and golf clubs. 

What materials are extracted and reused from the batteries I recycle?

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.

Is the Recycle Your Batteries, Canada! program offered in other countries?

The program operates under the name of Call2Recycle in the U.S.

Where can I leave comments?

To leave comments, simply fill out our feedback form. We appreciate hearing from you to help us improve our program.