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Hazardous Waste Warning works best in modern browsers like Firefox, Safari, Chrome, or Internet Explorer 8. All are free to download and will greatly improve your internet experience. Wastes in this section are dangerous to you and the environment. Handle them carefully and dispose of them properly. Legally, households may not transport more than 15 gallons of wet or 125 pounds of dry hazardous materials. Read about the regulation.

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Recycle Your Batteries at Curbside!

For those living in the unincorporated area of the County or in the cities of Buellton, Goleta, Santa Barbara, and Solvang, you now have a new option for recycling your batteries. Simply follow the steps below:

  • Place the batteries in a zip-top plastic bag
  • Put the bag on top of (not inside) your recycling container on your normally scheduled recycling collection day
  • For rechargeable batteries, please tape the ends of each battery with clear tape so that the battery poles are not exposed (you can skip this step with single-use batteries)

Batteries on the Blue Bin 2

For more information, see our Frequently Asked Questions below or contact your trash/recycling hauler.

Battery Types

There are many different sizes and types of batteries out there, so we know that the situation can get a little confusing. We split our batteries into three categories, Non-rechargeable Batteries, Rechargeable Batteries and Automotive Batteries. Here are the differences as explained by

Non-rechargeable Batteries

Also called single use batteries or primary batteries, these are most commonly used batteries right now. They get their power from a chemical reaction that is irreversible. They work better than rechargeable batteries in situations where a low amount of power is needed for a long time. Most of these are Alkaline Batteries in the standard sizes of AA, AAA, D-Cell, C-cell, and 9 volts. But there are some other exotic batteries that are included in this category.

  • Alkaline and Carbon Zinc Batteries

    • The most common type of single use battery.
    • AA, AAA, D-Cell, C-Cell, 9-volt and button cells.
    • Commonly used in Cameras, toys, watches and portable electronics.

  • Lithium Batteries - Not Lithium Ion Batteries

    • Button Cells, standard sizes and custom sizes too.
    • Used in small and large portable electronics.
    • Not to be confused with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.
  • Mercury Batteries

    • AA, 9-volt, small cylinder and custom sizes.
    • Commonly used in medical devices and military applications.
  • Silver Oxide Batteries

    • Small button cells, high-voltage small-cylinder, large custom sizes.
    • Commonly used in watches, hearing aids, and aircraft.
  • Zinc Air Batteries

    • Button Cells, 9-volt and custom sizes.
    • Commonly used in hearing aids and watches.

Visit our Non-Rechargeable Battery page for details about how to dispose of these batteries properly.

Rechargeable Batteries

The most common types of rechargeable battery on the market today is the Lithium Ion Battery in your phone or laptop, and standard sized NiCd and NiMH batteries that are rechargeable at home.

    • Lead Acid Gel Batteries

      • Rectangular, custom sizes in a hard plastic case.
      • Commonly found in wheel chairs, scooters, golf carts, boats, RVs and some portable tools and instruments.
      • These batteries are toxic and should be handled carefully.

  • Lithium-Ion (Li-ion)Batteries

    • Custom sizes in a hard plastic case, small-cylinder or button cells.
    • Commonly used in cell phones, laptops, power tools and video cameras.
    • Not to be confused with single use lithium batteries.
  • Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd) Batteries

    • AA, AAA, C, D and other small cylinder batteries, wrapped cell packs and custom sizes.
    • Commonly found in power tools, toys, R/C cars, medical devices and some laptops.
    • These batteries are toxic and should never be incinerated.
  • Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) Batteries

    • AA, AAA, C, D and other small cylinder batteries, wrapped cell packs and custom sizes.
    • Commonly found in power tools, toys, R/C cars, cellphones and some laptops.

Visit our Rechargeable Battery page for details about how to dispose of these batteries properly.

Automotive and Wet Cell Batteries

Automotive batteries are a different type of battery entirely. They are called a wet cell battery because they contain a liquid. In the most common type of wet cell battery, the lead acid battery, the liquid is actually sulfuric acid. You can see why there would be special disposal needs.

Some sites that accept automotive batteries will also take other types of wet cell batteries as well, but make sure to call ahead for information.

For more information visit

Visit our Automotive Battery page for local sites that accept auto batteries and wet cell batteries for proper disposal.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a household battery?

Household batteries are typically smaller batteries with a power of 9 volts or less. The most common type is the AA used for household gadgets like remote controls, small toys, and wireless kitchen appliances.

For the curbside collection program, do I need to tape the ends of all batteries?

No, common single-use alkaline batteries (with a power of 9V or below) do not require taping. However, some batteries, like most rechargeables, pose a fire risk during storage and transportation if the ends are exposed.

For the curbside program, why do I need to place batteries inside a clear bag?

Clear bags are required so the drivers of the collection trucks can easily identify the household batteries. The batteries are not mixed with recyclables but are placed in a separate bucket that is usually hanging from the side of the truck. The drivers place the batteries in the bucket before tipping the recycling bin.

For the curbside program, why do I need to place the bag ON TOP of the blue recycling bin?

Batteries are recycled separately from materials inside the recycling bin. Commingled recyclables should never include hazardous waste, such as household batteries or electronics.

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