Do you know which batteries you can throw away in regular garbage and which ones need to be recycled if you live in Illinois?

I'm willing to bet I am not the only one riding around town with two very specific piles of cargo. In my trunk are three bags of things I will one day get around to dropping off at Goodwill (I'm so bad at remembering to stop). The other little pile is in my back seat in a gallon-sized storage bag, 3 old lithium-ion rechargeable batteries that I know I can't just throw in my kitchen garbage can and then on the curb.

I know where to take my Goodwill donation, but where do I take these old batteries? I did a little searching and below is what I found out.

How To Dispose of Non-Rechargeable Alkaline Batteries


First, the AA and AAA batteries, including those weird ones that go in your ceiling fan remote, actually all non-rechargeable/alkaline batteries can be thrown away with last night's dinner.

How To Dispose of Rechargeable Lithium-ion Batteries

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To dispose of rechargeable batteries, like lithium-ion, nickel-cadmium, or even those little button batteries in your garage door opener, you need to take them somewhere to be disposed of properly. Remember, it's crucial to recycle batteries properly to prevent environmental harm.

In and around Rockford, Illinois, you can follow these guidelines to get rid of your batteries:

Some retailers may have battery recycling programs. Places like Best Buy, Home Depot, and Lowe's have dedicated drop-off bins near the entrance where you can deposit old batteries for recycling. It's recommended to call the specific store in Rockford beforehand to confirm if they're accepting batteries for recycling.

Winnebago County Recycling Center is another option. This center is located at 13125 N. Second Street, Rockford, IL 61115. They accept various types of batteries for recycling. 815- 319-6000 for more information.

Check with the Winnebago County Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Program to see if they have any collection events for household hazardous waste, including batteries. They may have scheduled drop-off events where you can take your batteries. You can reach out to the HHW Program at 815-319-4014 for more details.

Household Hazardous Waste released some guidelines on what you can toss in the regular garbage and what you should bring in for recycling.

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.Click here for a printable version.

Another place you can take batteries and other materials that you're not quite sure how to throw out is, Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful (KNIB). They have two recycling centers in the area:

4665 Hydraulic Rd in Rockford


8409 N. Second St in Machesney Park

Check out for a list of what they DO and DON'T take at their recycling centers.

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