October 28, 2020

Changing Clocks Twice a Year Are Good Reminders to Change Batteries in Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms Safety—And Here is How to Dispose of Those Batteries


Overnight this Saturday, everyone must turn back their clocks and watches one hour as most of the country goes to Eastern Standard Time and Daylight Saving Time ends for the year. The twice-annual time changes are good reminders to change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to make sure they are always working in case of an emergency.

Disposing of those batteries—in fact, disposing of any batteries—is something that needs to be done properly. The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) wants all residents to know that batteries should not be placed in regular trash.

Improperly disposed batteries can cause fires in trash cans, on trash trucks and at the Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station. This applies to all batteries including:
  • Dry cell and alkaline batteries
  • Lithium batteries
  • Lithium-ion batteries
  • Nickel-cadmium batteries
  • Lead acid (vehicle) batteries
  • Uninterruptible power supplies (personal and network)
  • Tool batteries
The household hazardous waste drop off area at the Transfer Station accepts all batteries, including alkaline batteries, for disposal. Lead acid and/or vehicle batteries can be dropped off for no charge.

Many retail locations accept batteries for disposal, although some may charge for disposal service.

It is important to transport batteries safely when they are headed for disposal, especially larger vehicle batteries. The safest methods of transporting batteries are to protect terminals by placing each battery individually into a plastic bag or by taping the ends with masking tape or another non-metallic tape. When carrying small batteries in your pocket, do not mix them with coins and house keys.

Businesses and organizations can drop off batteries for a small fee through the County Ecowise Program from 1-5 p.m. on Wednesdays at the Shady Grove Transfer Station. Businesses and organizations can register using Ecowise Online Application. Registration can be found at https://mcgmd.wufoo.com/forms/w1g80qjv1abb6y3/.

This video explains how to properly dispose of batteries: https://youtu.be/DuOQb4YHhXs