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How to dispose of a laptop battery

Recycling is the best way to dispose of an old battery

What to Know

  • Call2Recycle’s locator to find a nearby battery recycling center.
  • Undamaged laptop batteries can be disposed of at a recycle center for free.
  • It could be harmful to the environment to throw out old laptop batteries.

This article will show you how to recycle or dispose of a laptop battery.

How to dispose of a laptop battery

Don’t throw away an old laptop battery. It can be a tedious task to recycle a laptop battery, but it is essential. If a laptop battery is left unattended, it can cause fire hazards and even lead to environmental dangers.

Once you have found a recycling center nearby, disposing of a laptop’s battery is easy.

  1. Locate a local recycling centre. Call2Recycle is a great place to start. They provide battery recycling services for many major retailers across the United States. If all else fails (which is most likely if your home is in a rural area), you can try the website of your local waste management agency.
  2. Take out the battery from your laptop, and put it in a sealed, disposable container such as a bag.
    Many modern laptops have a custom-sized, slim battery that the owner cannot remove. If there is no obvious way to get rid of it, consult your manual or manufacturer’s website.
  3. The battery should be taken to the recycling center that you have found in step 1. Avoid damaging the battery as most recycling centers won’t accept a cracked or bulging battery. Once you are on site, follow the instructions.

What if my laptop battery is damaged?

Andrey Deryabin / Getty Images

A laptop battery that is older may have signs of obvious damage. You might notice a bulging, cracked or charred battery pack, or burn marks around the electrical contacts.

The chemical reactions in a laptop battery’s batteries can cause heat to be generated and possibly catch fire. Because the battery is flammable, it can be difficult to put out a fire once it has started. This is why lithium-ion batteries can be considered hazardous materials if they are stored or shipped in large quantities.

Do not leave a battery that is damaged open to the air in your home. To reduce air exposure, place it in a sealed container such as a bag. You will not be able to drop off damaged batteries at most recycling centers. For special instructions, call the center or visit them.

Don’t ship a lithium-ion battery that is damaged. A damaged battery can pose a serious threat to anyone handling it, particularly if they don’t know it has been damaged. Most shipping companies will ask you if your shipment has a damaged battery. If it does, they will refuse to ship the shipment.

What if there isn’t a recycling center near you?

Many retailers will be able to recycle your laptop battery in urban or suburban areas.

Rural areas can be a different story. It is possible that you will find your nearest recycling center to be an hour or more away. This is a problem, but don’t panic. There may be another option.

A majority of laptop manufacturers offer a laptop recycling service. Many manufacturers will recycle any laptop that they make for free, and even cover the shipping costs. If you buy a new laptop, or desktop from the manufacturer, they will offer free recycling. Instructions will be provided by the manufacturer’s customer support website.

These are the links to the programs that the largest laptop manufacturers worldwide run.

But here’s the catch. This service could be applied to the whole laptop, not just the battery. A laptop that has a non-serviceable battery will likely be rejected by the manufacturer. Manufacturers will most likely offer to replace the battery with the laptop, but they will charge a fee.

Do not ship a laptop battery that is damaged. Many shipping companies will ask you if your shipment contains a damaged lithium-ion batteries and if so, they will refuse to ship it or refer you for a special service. You can expose others to injury or death by shipping a battery you don’t know is damaged.

FAQ

  • Best Buy will recycle your old laptop batteries
    Best Buy accepts and recycles laptop batteries at no cost.
  • Do laptop batteries from Home Depot get recycled?
    Home Depot will accept any rechargeable battery that is less than 300 watt hours and weighs up to 11 pounds. They can be recycled at no cost. You can drop the batteries off at any Home Depot location in Call2Recycle bins.
  • How do I check the health of my laptop’s battery?
    You can use a hidden tool called Battery Report to check the battery health on a Windows 10 computer. Enter the command powercfg into Command Prompt. This will generate a report that can be opened and viewed on your hard disk. This report lists battery usage and estimates of battery life.
  • How long can a laptop battery last for?
    A typical laptop battery will last between 1,000 and 2-4 years. High temperatures and prolonged periods of inactivity can shorten a laptop’s battery life.

 

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