January 6, 2021

Be Sure to Properly Recycle Used Electronics and Dispose of Old Batteries


A lot of electronic items were purchased as gifts during the holiday season. And holidays also provided down time that led to using battery-operated items. Those scenarios meant that many older or no longer usable electronics will be on their way out. It also means many batteries have worn out.

In each case, the Montgomery County Department of Environment Protection (DEP) wants consumers to know how to properly recycle electronics and how to dispose of batteries.

When their lifespan is over, electronic items should not be thrown out—and they should not be placed in household blue recycling bins. They can be recycled at the County’s Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station located at 16101 Frederick Rd. in Derwood.

Electronic items that can be recycled include computers and related items; printers and printer drums; TVs; VCR/DVR/DVD or Blu-ray players and discs; cell phones; portable chargers; video cameras and holiday string lights. A complete list of electronic items that can be recycled can be found at https://tinyurl.com/y7wszund.

The electronics drop-off is open daily and is located in the recycling area of the transfer station. The facility is open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday (both entrances) and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday (Route 355 entrance only).

For more information on electronics recycling, go to https://tinyurl.com/y575bxpf. A video about recycling electronics can be viewed at https://youtu.be/R-6xG3lf_uY.

Disposing of old batteries is something that needs to be done properly. DEP wants 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 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.