Back to overview

Batteries have become an integral part of our daily lives. They are used in many different devices, such as clocks, toys, torches and remote controls. But where should these go when they are empty or broken? Never throw batteries in the rubbish bin. A damaged battery can leak, burst or even explode and cause a fire. It is therefore important to handle them carefully and always return them separately for recycling.

Batteries are small chemical waste (MSW) and do not belong in residual waste. Batteries that do end up in the dustbin are incinerated as residual waste, which can release substances that are harmful to the environment. Batteries contain materials that are very recyclable. For example, about 95% of the nickel, cobalt and copper in batteries can be reused, saving energy and new raw materials.  

Harmful substances 

Do you have old batteries lying around at home? Then turn them in for recycling. Old batteries contain substances that are harmful when released into nature or when burned. They contain heavy metals such as cadmium, mercury and lead. Old batteries can leak and rust. Never touch them with your hands or wash your hands thoroughly after you do touch the batteries. Always put leaking or rusty batteries in a sealed bag or cling film before throwing them in the collection bin.  

Avoid leaking batteries

  • Use batteries of the same type and brand in any device. 
  • Replace all batteries at once 
  • Not using a device? Then take the batteries out. 
  • Insert new batteries properly into a device: negative side first and then the positive side, when removing it is the other way round. 
  • Store dead batteries in a dry place at a temperature between 15 and 17 degrees Celsius. At colder temperatures, voltage is lost, while at (extremely) high temperatures batteries function less well and may even leak. 
  • Return dead batteries regularly to a drop-off point. 

Where you buy them, you can get rid of them

Always return batteries separately after use. At shops and supermarkets where you can buy batteries, there are special collection bins where you can hand in old and empty batteries. Keep empty batteries in a fixed place in your house and take them with you regularly when you go shopping. This way, batteries never stay in the house for too long and you contribute to a better environment. All types of batteries can go in the collection bin, including the small flat button cell batteries used for example in hearing aids or bike lights are in place. Check out for collection points in your area. 

By disposing of old and spent batteries safely and responsibly, we reduce the negative impact on the environment and contribute to a cleaner world and a more sustainable future. 

For more tips, visit