Battery Recycling – What Happens To Old Batteries? (Detailed Guide)

Published September 2021

Battery Recycling Explained

Answers to your most common questions about recycling batteries, including

  • How do I recycling my old car battery?
  • What happens to lithium batteries?
  • What recycling process is used for my battery type?
  • Is there a battery recycling center near me?
  • How do I recycling batteries from my electronics?
  • Can I recycling mercury batteries?
  • Is it legal to landfill my batteries?

Batteries are composed of various metals, alloys and composites; all limited natural resources. The demand for these materials is quickly outpacing the planet’s resources. Retrofit Environmental is committed to providing cost effective recycling solutions. We partner with down-stream recycling vendors who employ only the most advanced recycling technologies.

Recycling Different Battery Types

What happens when you dispose of your old, unwanted or broken batteries? How do I know that these batteries will be recycled? Is the recycling process actually safe and clean for the environment? What types of downstream applications are there? It’s important to know that batteries placed in your curbside recycling bins won’t be recycled. Batteries need to be disposed of through a reputable partner, such as Retrofit Environmental (schedule pickup).

Batteries go through a variety of processes after they are collected, sorted and assessed. The recycling partners we work with use the most advanced recycling technologies available to separate the raw materials in a eco-friendly way.

Battery recycling processes may include:

  • Manual Separation
  • High Temp Metal Reclamation (HTMR)
  • Lead Smelting
  • Cryogenic liquid solution processing
  • Thermal treatment under vacuum
  • Mercury Retort

Do you need more details on each of these processes? Download the free Battery Recycling FAQ to learn exactly how each battery type is processed, what raw components are extracted and common uses for each type.

Battery Types

How do I know what type of battery I have? Does every battery type have to be recycled?

Our Battery Recycling FAQ Guide details all of different types of batteries, what they may look like, what formats they come in, and common uses or applications for each type.

Please note, it is illegal in Minnesota, and many other states, to place rechargeable batteries in the garbage.

MPCA – Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Examples of Battery Types (more types included in guide):

Battery Recycling Near Me

Nearly 100% of the materials in batteries can be recycled through various responsible methods. We strongly encourage recycling batteries (instead of landfilling) because the hazardous and toxic components end up in our ecosystem and our drinking water. This choice has a long term negative impact on our efforts towards a circular economy.

Batteries from businesses are generally not accepted at city or county drop-off facilities, as noted on the Hennepin County, MN website regarding commercial hazardous waste generators. Retrofit Environmental provides pickup services for businesses across the Midwest. Request a recycling pickup online, or schedule a call with one of our Retrofit Environmental team members to answer any questions you may have about battery recycling or other environmental services.

Request a battery recycling pickup or other Environmental services support from Retrofit Environmental, St. Paul Minnesota