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Be Aware of Proper Battery Disposal this Holiday Season

Planning on gifting or giving any electronics or battery-operated gadgets this holiday season? Remember to dispose of old devices and batteries properly.

Batteries contain hazardous metals and corrosive materials that pose serious fire, health, and safety threats when improperly discarded. Batteries are considered hazardous waste in California and should NEVER be placed in a trash or recycling bin.  Luckily, proper battery recycling is easy in Santa Barbara County!

Waste Management and MarBorg customers can recycle standard single-use or rechargeable household batteries curbside! Just TAPE the ends of the rechargeable batteries, BAG in a clear plastic bag, and PLACE ON TOP of your recycling bin on collection days. They will be collected separately from your recyclables.

Businesses and residents can also drop batteries off at a number of collection sites countywide.

Though not accepted in your regular blue bin, batteries are nearly 100% recyclable. They can be recycled into new batteries or be recovered for base materials for roads and bridges. Recycling batteries is essential because it reduces the need to mine for new materials, ensures proper disposal, and reduces fire risk.

Batteries can SPARK when tossed around in recycling trucks or waste bins or accidentally heated, crushed, punctured, or otherwise mishandled. Battery fires happen almost weekly at local solid waste facilities. These fires spread quickly because they are surrounded by flammable trash and recyclables. Battery fires damage equipment, put staff in danger, and could lead to a wildfire.

Batteries that are embedded in a device and can’t be removed should be disposed of as e-waste except for e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes or other types of smoking devices are hazardous and require special handling. They include a battery, nicotine or cannabis, and electronic components. These can not only spark but also contaminate the work environment for recycling workers and can risk their health. NEVER place these in the trash or recycling bin. E-cigarettes must be disposed of at a hazardous waste facility. Click here for hazardous waste disposal locations.

Thanks for your help in stopping the spark! Remember, rechargeable batteries are a great reusable option, and they reduce the number of single-use batteries being disposed of. Learn more about battery recycling and collection locations by visiting by clicking here or calling (805) 882-3602.


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