General

How much does it cost to recycle my used batteries?

Consumers are invited to use our drop-off network to recycle at no cost. We also have pay-as-you-go collection kits in our online store for people or organizations who want to collect and recycle batteries. Organizations that recycle directly with Call2Recycle may be subject to fees, depending on the services they select.

Who is Call2Recycle®?

We are North America’s first and largest consumer battery stewardship and recycling program, with a network of more than 14,000 public collection sites. We were founded in the mid-1990s as a voluntary, industry-run initiative to keep the heavy metals from rechargeable batteries out of the solid waste stream.

Where does Call2Recycle operate?

We operate throughout North America. Call2Recycle, Inc., manages the program in the U.S. from its Atlanta headquarters while Call2Recycle Canada is headquartered in Toronto.

How are you funded?

Industry stewards, or major product and battery manufacturers across the globe, voluntarily fund our programs to ensure that the batteries and cellphones that they introduce into the marketplace are being responsibly recycled when they reach their end of life.

What is product stewardship?

Product stewardship is the act of minimizing the health, safety, environmental, and social impact of a product and its packaging throughout its lifecycle. While product manufacturers or producer have the greatest ability to influence this impact, suppliers, retailers, regulators and consumers also play significant roles.

Where can I provide program feedback?

You can send us your comments using this feedback form.

 

Consumer Battery Recycling

Which rechargeable batteries do you accept?

We accept all rechargeable batteries weighing up to 11 lbs. (5 kg) each, including Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd), Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH), Lithium Ion (Li-Ion), Nickel Zinc (Ni-Zn) and Small Sealed Lead Acid (SSLA/Pb). We do not accept automotive or wet-cell batteries.

Which single-use batteries do you accept?

In certain jurisdictions, we accept all single-use (such as alkaline) batteries weighing up to 11 lbs. (5 kg) each, including AA, AAA, 9V, C, D and button cells.

What is the difference between single-use and rechargeable batteries?

Because they look the same and are often used for similar purposes, it’s often hard to tell the two apart. Single-use or primary batteries have one charge; once they lose their charge, they can’t be used again. Rechargeable batteries are designed to be used more than once. The batteries are either plugged into a charger or charge while in the device. Many rechargeable batteries can be charged up to 1,000 times.

What kind of tape or bags can I use if bags are not available?

If you run out of Call2Recycle bags, we recommend using clear plastic bags and clear non-conductive electrical tape. Packing, duct and electrical tape and clear ziploc bags are also acceptable. Do not use grocery bags or painters/masking tape. Also avoid putting tape over the chemistry type to ensure the label is visible to the sorters. You can contact Customer Service to order more bags if you run out.

What is a wet-cell battery and how does it differ from a dry-cell battery?

A wet-cell battery is the original type of rechargeable battery. It is commonly found in aviation, electric utilities, energy storage and cellphone towers. The battery contains a liquid electrolyte such as sulfuric acid, a dangerous corrosive liquid. A dry-cell battery does not contain liquid. Smaller dry-cell batteries, such as alkaline or lithium ion, are typically used in portable electronics, such as toys, phones and laptops.

Do you recycle wet-cell batteries?

No, Call2Recycle accepts all types of dry-cell batteries under 11 pounds, but not wet-cell batteries.

How do I recycle my batteries?

Battery recycling is easy. Simply collect your used household batteries (and cellphones in the U.S.) and check our drop-off locator to find the closest Call2Recycle collection site in the U.S. and Canada. There is no cost to recycle. Click here for a step-by-step guide.

Where can I recycle my batteries?

Our drop-off locator can help you quickly find the nearest location in the U.S. and Canada. These locations include major retailers such as Best Buy, The Home Depot, Lowe’s and Staples. On the go? Visit our mobile website.

What types of batteries can I recycle?

We currently collect and recycle rechargeable and single-use batteries weighing less than 11 lbs. (5 kg) and cellphones. We do not accept wet-cell or car batteries.  If you have larger batteries to recycle, contact Customer Service at 1.877.723.1297 to make special arrangements.

Do I have to bag or tape my battery terminals before I ship them?

Call2Recycle encourages you to bag and tape all batteries because it is often difficult to identify specific chemistries. The U.S. DOT requires certain battery terminals be bagged or taped prior to transportation. This avoids possible sparking when the terminals come into contact.

  • Primary (Alkaline, carbon zinc): greater than 12V
  • Primary (Lithium, button, coin cell): all
  • Rechargeable (Nickel Cadmium, Nickel Metal Hydride, Nickel Zinc): greater than 9V
  • Rechargeable: (Lithium-Ion or SSLA/PB): all

If you run out of Call2Recycle bags, you can use clear plastic bags, such as newspaper or produce bags. You can also protect the terminals with duct or non-conductive electrical tape. Do not cover the brand name or chemistry of the battery.

Is it free to recycle or is there a charge?

Consumers are invited to use our drop-off network to recycle at no cost. We also have pay-as-you-go collection kits in our online store for people or organizations who want to collect and recycle batteries. Organizations that recycle directly with Call2Recycle may be subject to fees, depending on the services they select.

Why should I recycle my batteries?

By recycling batteries, you divert them from landfills which helps to protect the environment.  Metals in both batteries and cellphones can be recycled and used in new products such as new batteries, stainless steel alloy and cement additives. Recycling reduces the need to mine for virgin material to manufacture these products.

Is it illegal to throw away rechargeable batteries or cellphones in the trash?

Some U.S. states have made it illegal to dispose of batteries and cellphones in the regular trash. They are considered potentially hazardous material. Regardless of the law, it’s smart to recycle them and keep them from entering the landfill and potentially harming the environment.

What do you do with the batteries and cellphones?

Collected batteries are sent to sorters and processors in the U.S. and Canada. Cellphones are refurbished and resold when possible, or recycled, with the proceeds being used to fund the cellphone recycling program. To see the recycling process, check out this video.

Why aren’t single-battery drop-off sites listed on the Call2Recycle web site locator?

As collection sites opt into all-battery recycling, we add them to the locator as quickly as we can. More sites will appear over time as more organizations enroll in the service.

Do you recycle car batteries?

We do not accept car batteries for recycling. You can contact your local auto repair/parts store or community solid waste program for collection sites.

 

Bulk Shipments

Do you allow bulk shipments?

Call2Recycle offers a bulk shipping option for collection sites with shipments of 500 lbs. (227 kg) or more. For more information about this option in the continental U.S., click here.

I have a bulk shipment ready. How do I complete the Bill of Lading (BOL)?

If you’re currently enrolled in our bulk shipping program and your shipment is more than 500 lbs. (227 kg), you can create your BOL using the BOL wizard. Click here to start.

Does my bulk shipment need to have the same protection as my box shipments?

Bulk shipments require the same protection measures as a box shipment, including bagging or taping batteries according to the Call2Recycle shipping guidelines. In fact, the potential consequences of battery ignition/combustion are even greater for bulk shipments because of the sheer number of batteries in drums on the pallet.

 

Cellphone Recycling

What kind of cellphones do you recycle?

We accept all cellphones, with or without their batteries.

What happens to the cellphones you collect?

Depending on condition, the cellphones may be refurbished and resold. We recycle phones that can’t be refurbished. The proceeds help fund the cellphone collection program and public education.

Do you accept cellphone rechargers and cellphone accessories for recycling?

Call2Recycle can accept cellphones and their batteries but not the cellphone chargers or accessories. To recycle the accessories, we recommend that you check with your cellphone provider or our partner, The Wireless Alliance.

Do I need to remove my personal information from the phone before I donate it?

We recommend that you remove your personal information, although it is not required. The phone memory is destroyed during the recycling process. To remove the information from your phone, consult your cellphone user manual or the manufacturer’s web site.

 

Collection Partners (Collection Sites)

What is a collection site?

A collection site is any person or organization that collects batteries. This includes public (retailers and municipalities) and private (hospitals, military bases, businesses and government agencies) sites.  Call2Recycle has more than 30,000 public and private collection sites throughout the U.S. and Canada.

How do I ship a full box or pallet to Call2Recycle?

Call2Recycle collection boxes arrive ready for shipment, including a pre-paid, pre-addressed return shipping label. Prior to shipping, please check our guidelines.

How do we schedule a pickup for my collection box in the U.S.?

All Call2Recycle boxes come with a pre-paid, pre-addressed return shipping label. The shipping label indicates the shipper (FedEx or UPS) assigned to pick up your box. Just put the box out for the shipper’s next pickup. If you do not have regular pickups, please contact Customer Service at 877.723.1297 to arrange a pickup. If you contact the shipper directly for a pickup, extra charges may apply.

My collection box is missing a shipping label. What do I do?

Contact Customer Service at 877.723.1297 who will ship you a new shipping label at no charge.

I shipped a box for recycling but I haven’t received my replacement? Where is it?

It usually takes a few days for us to receive your shipment. Once we receive your box, we will send you a new kit immediately. There is a short delay between the time we receive your shipment and delivery of your boxes. But the boxes are on the way.

Can I ship batteries in non-Call2Recycle boxes?

We only accept batteries that are shipped in Call2Recycle boxes or pre-approved, properly permitted containers that meet U.S. DOT transportation requirements for shipping used batteries. The Call2Recycle box has the correct shipping address and tracking information for our auto-replenishment program. We use this information to alert us to send replacement kits.

Why can’t the courier that picks up my Call2Recycle boxes give me replacement kits?

Our couriers are contracted to pick up our collections boxes and transport them for recycling. They don’t stock or distribute boxes because they aren’t part of Call2Recycle.

How do we become a collection site?

Just complete and submit this form.  We will review the information to determine the services that best fit your organization. You can also call Customer Service at 877.723.1297 for information.

Do collection sites have to collect from the public?

No, you can opt to have a private collection program. Our pay-as-you-go program for private sites enables anyone to purchase boxes for collecting and recycling batteries without allowing public access. Your location will not be listed in the Call2Recycle locator. Call Customer Service at 877.723.1297 for information.

How do we add more collection sites to our account? Can I ship collection kits directly to the new sites?

Contact Customer Service at 877.723.1297 to add more sites to your account. Collection kits can be shipped directly to the locations or to a central location for distribution. We also offer a bulk shipping option for high-volume sites.

We just moved. What do we need to do?

Please notify Customer Service at 877.723.1297 before you move so that we ship replacement kits to the correct address. Shipping boxes to the incorrect address will result in wasted resources and it will increase our carbon footprint. Most importantly, you are left without the boxes you need at your new facility.

 

Collection Kits

How do I order a collection kit?

If you think you will recycle more than 50 lbs. (22.7 kg) in the next six months, a collection kit is for you. Anyone can order a collection kit from our online store. If not, we may ask you to consider using a local drop-off location instead. Eighty eight percent of North American consumers live within 10 miles (15 km) of a drop-off site. Using these sites allows us to combine shipments and contain our carbon footprint.

Are collection boxes available in more than one size?

We offer both small and large collection boxes. For details, visit the online store.

Do you have materials available for promoting battery recycling?

Visit our Program Resources page to see the wide variety of available program materials, including posters, web banners and images. Most materials can be customized. Contact Customer Service at 877.723.1297 to get quotes on custom materials.

Do you have materials available for promoting battery recycling?

Visit our Program Resources page to see the wide variety of available program materials, including posters, web banners and images. Most materials can be customized. Contact Customer Service at 877.723.1297 to get quotes on custom materials.

I always run out of bags. Can I get more? Can I use my own bags?

If you need more bags, please contact our Customer Service Team so that we can increase the amount of bags included in your shipments. You can also use clear plastic bags (such as produce bags from the grocery store). Duct or non-conductive electrical tape can also be used to protect the terminals.

How do I order more collection boxes or bags?

If you are enrolled in our auto-replenishment program, you will automatically receive a new collection kit after a box arrives at our recycling facility. If that isn’t the case and you are getting low on collection boxes or bags, complete the collection kit re-order form to order additional kits. It takes approximately 2-5 business days for you to receive new supplies.

How long can you store batteries?

Boxes should be shipped when they are full (up to 66 lbs./30 kgs) or within one year of the first battery being collected.  The accumulation start date should be noted on the back of the collection box when the first battery is dropped into the box.

 

Industry Stewards

What is an industry steward?

Industry stewards are the organizations committed to promoting and/or funding the responsible recycling of electronic products and batteries when they reach their end of life.

How does a company become an industry steward?

By submitting an Industry Steward Inquiry Form, we can confirm that you qualify.

What are the benefits of being an industry steward?

The Call2Recycle program enables stewards to fulfill recycling requirements in the U.S. and Canada, including compliance with state, provincial and federal regulations, such as the U.S. Mercury-Containing and Rechargeable Battery Act (The Battery Act). Click here for a full overview of the program benefits.

What is a licensee?

A licensee is a type of industry steward that provides financial support to Call2Recycle and can feature an imprint of the Call2Recycle Battery Recycling Seal on its rechargeable batteries, products or packaging.

 

Battery Recycling Safety

Why do I have to bag or tape every battery?

The simple answer is so that your battery shipments comply with U.S. DOT safety regulations which require that the terminals of select battery types are protected from making contact with each other when in transit from your location to the sorting facility. Because battery types are often hard to distinguish, we recommend bagging or taping all batteries. Taping and bagging prevent the batteries from igniting or combusting, which can result in fires, personal injury and other damage.

If I miss protecting some of the batteries, what are the potential consequences?

Our #1 safety goal is to prevent battery terminals from touching and possibly sparking before they are shipped or while they are in transit. We encourage you to bag every battery. Consequences include fires, physical injuries to people before and during the transportation process and damage to the shipper/sorter facilities. Companies that don’t properly protect their batteries may also face fines from the US DOT and suspension and/or expulsion from the Call2Recycle program.

Why can’t I return a box via air from Alaska/Hawaii/Puerto Rico?

The U.S. DOT places very stringent restrictions on the shipment of certain batteries by air due to safety considerations. Our program prohibits air shipments. If you are located in Alaska/Hawaii/Puerto Rico, you can transport the batteries by truck, rail and boat. Once the batteries reach stateside, Call2Recycle can coordinate the transportation. Please call Customer Service to coordinate these shipments.

Can I use paper, other boxes, towels or other materials to protect the terminals?

Because paper-based products are flammable and can act as kindling, they are not an approved method of insulation. Please use the bags provided (or tape), place the batteries in permitted containers and avoid using paper or other materials to protect your terminals.

Does every battery need a bag?

Although it’s not legally required to tape or bag every battery, it can be hard to distinguish which battery chemistries requires protection. We encourage you to bag or tape all your batteries to prevent sparking, which can result in fires. Check out our U.S. Box Shipping Quick Reference for more information.

What do we do if we have a swollen, damaged or recalled (DDR) battery?

Contact Customer Service at 877.723.1297 who will review with you whether the battery requires special handling. DDR batteries must be shipped in packaging that complies with U.S. DOT requirements for the transportation of damaged, defective or recalled batteries.