Did you know that your single-use batteries (Duracell, Energizer, etc) are considered universal hazardous waste by the State of California? Most people are not aware of the danger associated with the disposal of batteries into the landfill. All dry cell batteries contain metals such as: alkaline, carbon-zinc, lithium, mercury, silver, and zinc that are harmful to the environment.
On average annually, Americans purchase and consume nearly three billion dry-cell batteries to power up their portable electronic devices. The majority of these devices are powered by rechargeable batteries that can be recycled by the retailer that sold you the product. Although the retailer is required by law to accept rechargeable batteries, they are not required to accept single-use batteries.
Household Battery Recycling Program
There are 38 take back (PDF) locations. A pilot program to take-back used household batteries has been made possible by 38 San Gabriel Valley area businesses that are voluntarily serving as collection locations. Participating businesses display an identifying sticker in their windows and place a collection box in their stores where consumers can properly dispose of used batteries. Two locations are in Monterey Park: Monterey Park Car Wash at 521 North Atlantic Boulevard and Shun Fat Market at 421 North Atlantic Boulevard.
Household batteries were banned from trash disposal in 2006 because they contain toxic metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, and nickel that cause serious health risks when deposited in landfills. All common household batteries under 11 pounds, alkaline and rechargeable, can be taken to the 38 take-back locations. Batteries accepted include standard AA, AAA, C, D, and 9-Volt and rechargeable batteries which are found in many products including digital cameras, cordless phones, and cell phones.
The program is organized by the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCOG) and funded by a $395,966 grant from the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle). The pilot project is part of the Call2Recycle program which is a national battery stewardship organization funded by battery producers. The program normally is for rechargeable batteries only, but this pilot program has expanded regular collection to include both alkaline and rechargeable batteries.
In addition to the 38 locations, household batteries can be dropped off at county libraries as part of the Los Angeles County pilot program. L.A. County Department of Public Works partnered with the County of Los Angeles Public Library to utilize library locations for the proper collection of household batteries. The nearest county library is the East Los Angeles Library at 4837 East 3rd Street in Los Angeles.
L.A. Battery Disposal
Residents can also properly dispose of batteries at HHW round-up events throughout the County of Los Angeles. These events are jointly sponsored by the County of Los Angeles and the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County and funded by garbage rates. Visit the County of Los Angeles' HHW website for a full list of products that can be properly disposed of at the round-ups and for a complete schedule of upcoming events.
Visit CalRecycle's website for a list of organizations participating in their Covered Electronic Waste Recycling Program. You should contact any of the listed organizations to determine the details of their services, hours, and any potential charges before loading up your vehicle.
For more information, please contact the Engineering Division 626-307-1320.