- 1. Are batteries hazardous waste?
No. Household batteries (Rayovac Heavy Duty and Maximum Alkaline, rechargeable batteries such as Rayovac's Rechargeable Alkaline and Rechargeable Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH), and fully drained lithium primary batteries) are not hazardous waste. They are qualified as non-hazardous after having undergone government required testing.
Certain others, such as lead acid rechargeables and Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd) batteries, are required by regulation to be recycled. If you throw them away then they are a hazardous waste. Recycling logos on these products contain the information you need for finding your recycling outlets.
For specific chemical and technical information go to Material Safety Data Sheets.
All Alkaline, Rechargeable Alkaline, Rechargeable Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH), Zinc Chloride (Heavy Duty & General Purpose), and drained lithium primary batteries made by Rayovac are not a USEPA hazardous waste. Zinc Air and Silver Oxide in typical consumer quantities are not USEPA hazardous waste (see below for information pertaining to industrial large quantity generators). Our Material Safety Data Sheets note that non-hazardous wastes are suitable for ordinary disposal methods, providing that there is not some other applicable state or local regulation which directs otherwise. Please view the MSDS pertaining to your particular battery type to find proper disposal methods - Material Safety Data Sheets.
From time to time some states, counties, or local governments enact regulations naming a specific compound or element hazardous. In effect, this makes many of the consumer products that contain that material potentially covered by the rules. In other cases, "batteries" is used generically when the rule is targeted toward automotive lead acid batteries. In these cases, it takes time to correct the regulatory language. In other cases, the household batteries we produce may be undesirable for the type of waste management chosen by a city or municipality such as when composting or waste-to-energy incineration is used. Those rules do not make the household battery waste hazardous; they just require different management, often making that management more difficult or costly.
Part II :
There are some batteries, such as Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd), which are Universal Waste (the term "universal waste" is potentially applicable to waste batteries only if they are considered "hazardous"). Collection of Nickel-Cadmium batteries is required by law. They are not classified as EPA hazardous waste as long as their destination is recycling. For specific information about environmental legislation relating to batteries, please visit NEMA's web site, the EPA, search the US Code of Federal Regulations, in Europe search EUR-LEX, or contact an appropriate government agency. Other types of commonly used batteries, such as silver oxide batteries, are not regulated for the general consumer but may be regulated for the industrial user. Industrial users who may generate over 100 Kilograms per month of certain regulated hazardous wastes or over 1000 kilograms of any type of hazardous waste may need to treat their waste silver oxide batteries as hazardous waste. Silver oxide batteries contain precious metals that may be recycled. For a list of potential recyclers go to www.nema.org. Many retailers who replace watch batteries as a customer service will also take small quantities of silver oxide batteries from the consumer for recycling.
- 2. Can large volumes of batteries be recycled?
You can find a list of recycling firms that may be able to process waste batteries at the National Electrical Manufacturers Association web site, www.nema.org. These firms generally charge fees and may require pre-sorting of various batteries. Mixtures of waste batteries will require special packaging and transportation. For details contact the recycling firm of your choice.
Neither NEMA or Rayovac guarantee the list includes all potential recycling firms. The list does not constitute a recommendation regarding listed firms.
- 3. Does Rayovac take used batteries back?
We do not take them back. However, Rayovac does fund the RBRC, a take back program for
Rayovac policy does not allow the return of batteries from consumers and other accounts for several reasons:
- There is no systematic collection scheme nation-wide handling all batteries, and no method for sorting
when collections have occurred.
- Collection and transportation back to Rayovac facilities would result in a net negative effect on
the environment, (fuel use, recoverable material, and safety concerns).
- Alkaline, Zinc Chloride (Heavy Duty & General Purpose), Rechargeable Alkaline,
Rechargeable Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH), Zinc Air, Silver Oxide, and drained lithium primary batteries
are clearly not a hazardous waste as confirmed by EPA methods of testing.
- Current recycling efforts rely on the customer to sort, ship, and in some cases
(such as large volume generators such as Rayovac) pay the cost of recycling. The Rechargeable Battery
Recycling Company (RBRC), funded in part by Rayovac, offers free recycling of some battery types, visit
them at www.rbrc.org for more information. However; for other battery types
current sorting and recovery technology makes it unfeasible for potential recyclers to set up a process
due to cost, limited usefulness of recovered materials, and small volumes. Independent studies
have shown that there is a net negative environmental effect of recycling due to collection,
transportation, sorting and handling these products.
For more information on battery waste issues, please
visit NEMA's website.
- 4. How and where can I recycle my batteries?
No general household battery recycling system exists in the USA. Because Lead Acid and Nickel
Cadmium (NiCd) batteries are required to be recycled to keep them from hazardous waste consideration,
special systems have been set up to promote their collection. Both of these products have recycling
logos affixed to the battery and a telephone number or address identified on the label to assist you.
Other battery types, while not requiring recycling, can also be recycled. These include Rechargeable
Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries and Lithium Ion batteries.
For your convenience, Rayovac has been a proud supporter of the Rechargeable Battery Recycling
Corporation (RBRC). The RBRC runs a free recycling program for consumers, allowing you to return
your used rechargeable batteries at retail locations across the country. For specific information,
please visit the RBRC web site.
Also note that Silver Oxide batteries, most often used as watch batteries, can usually be
returned at the retail location it was purchased from.
Zinc Air batteries, used in hearing aids, cannot be easily recycled and are considered general
household trash when they are drained. Please throw these out in the trash, collecting or
saving them can present a choking hazard to children. In case of accidental swallowing or
insertion, call the National Capital Poison Center
Hotline 1-800-222-1222 or 202-625-3333 (collect) IMMEDIATELY (TTY 800-222-1222).
- 5. What are the 2004 US Department of Transportation Lithium air shipping rules?
Rayovac is a member of NEMA or The National Electrical Manufacturer’s Association and NEMA
prepared this summary.
On December 15th, 2004, the US Department of Transportation’s Research and Special Programs
Administration (RSPA) issued new rules banning or restricting the transport of non-rechargeable lithium
batteries and devices shipped with these batteries aboard passenger aircraft. These new rules become
effective on December 29th, 2004 and can be found in their entirety in the December 15 Federal Register,
http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html. The National
Electrical Manufacturer’s Association, which represents US battery manufacturers, has summarized
these new rules for the convenience of our customers and consumers. This summary applies to non-rechargeable
lithium batteries shipped from, into or within the United States.
Non-rechargeable lithium batteries:
The transport of any amount of non-rechargeable lithium batteries is prohibited aboard passenger aircraft
except for personal use as noted below. In addition, the outer shipping container of all packages containing
non-rechargeable lithium batteries must be marked with:
"PRIMARY LITHIUM BATTERIES - FORBIDDEN FOR TRANSPORT ABOARD PASSENGER AIRCRAFT"
This statement must be on a background of contrasting color with the letters:
- At least 12 mm (0.5 inch) in height on packages having a gross mass of more than 30 kg (66 lbs); or
- At least 6 mm (0.25 inch) on packages having a gross mass of 30 kg (66 lbs) or less.
- Battery shipments may continue to be transported by all other modes of transportation including cargo aircraft provided they meet the other requirements of 49 CFR Parts 171, 172, 173 and 175.
Devices shipped with non-rechargeable lithium batteries:
In order to qualify for shipment aboard passenger aircraft, the batteries must be packaged in strong
packaging and only as many lithium batteries as are needed to power the device may be included. The
total allowable weight of the batteries depends on whether the batteries are shipped with the device
or inside the device. For batteries packaged inside the device, the net weight of the
batteries may not exceed 5 kg. For batteries packaged with the device, the gross weight
of the entire package may not exceed 5 kg. In this case, a package is considered on unit of sale, or one device.
There are no new labeling requirements for devices shipped with lithium batteries.
Airline passengers may continue to have non-rechargeable lithium batteries for their equipment and a
reasonable amount of spare non-rechargeable lithium batteries for their equipment in their carry-on and
checked luggage. In addition, any shipments of non-rechargeable lithium batteries or equipment with
non-rechargeable lithium batteries originating prior to December 29th, 2004 are also exempt.
- 6. When shipping batteries, is there a special shipping name or classification that needs to be used?
Most household batteries do not require any special shipping name or classification by US Department of Transportation regulations.
NOTE: Lithium primary batteries and lithium Ion batteries are the exception to this statement. Please go to question #8 for specific information about shipping regulations that apply to these batteries.
For information on the US Department of Transportation (DOT) article exemption for household batteries see additional Information" below. For information on other transportation, shipping, and regulatory issues, please visit NEMA's web site, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the European Union's EUR-LEX, or contact the appropriate government agency.
Please remember, batteries store energy. Even when you may consider the battery "dead", some small amount of energy may be available. Whenever shipping or carrying batteries, you must insulate them from each other and from shorting situations. Particular attention should be paid when packing batteries and battery containing devices in checked baggage during air travel. Luggage handling or loose connections could cause the battery to dislodge or short.
Article Exemption for Household Batteries
- Articles are recognized by the Occupational Safety and health Administration, section 1910.1200 as " "manufactured items which are formed to a specific shape or design during manufacture, which have end use functions depending in whole or in part upon their shape for design during end use, and which do not release, or otherwise result in exposure to, hazardous chemicals under normal conditions of use."
- Flashlights, bulbs, charging stations, and all household batteries (Alkaline, Zinc Chloride (Heavy Duty & General Purpose), Rechargeable Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH), Rechargeable Alkaline, Zinc Air, Silver, Lithium Ion) are considered Articles, and as such are exempted from the requirement that their use be accompanied by a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).
- 7. Where can I go to get additional information about household batteries?
For more information, please check these battery related web sites:
You may also contact Rayovac Consumer Servicefor more information.
- 8. Who do I contact if a battery is swallowed or inserted?
If this is a medical emergency related to a battery or button cell ingestion, immediately call the Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222
For more information, please visit the National Capital Poison Center web site.
For all other emergencies, please contact your physician or emergency services.