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Kane County Recycles Banner




Batteries Page Banner Image

​How any given battery should be safely disposed of or recycled depends on its chemistry (i.e. the chemicals it contains to store and discharge energy). This can be difficult to understand because batteries with very different chemistry can look quite similar. This page goes through each battery type and explains the safest, most environmentally friendly means of disposal.

Note: Kane County does not endorse any particular battery manufacturer or recycler. All names and images are for illustrative purposes only.

Lithium Ion Batteries

These are high-energy rechargeable batteries typically used in household electronics (e.g., laptops & tablets, cell phones, headphones, hover boards) and in electric vehicles. Sometimes the batteries can be removed from their devices and sometimes they cannot. NEVER place old or unwanted lithium ion batteries or devices containing them into household trash or recycling. These batteries can explode or catch fire if handled incorrectly, and they have been causing frequent  fires in trash and recycling trucks and facilities​. There are many options for recycling loose or contained lithium ion batteries, including drop-off at the Kane County Recycling Centers, at any of the drop-offs listed below, and through Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) programs​. Please place each battery in its own sealed baggie for safety when dropping off.

Lithium Batteries Image

​Lithium ion batteries can explode or catch fire and require special handling.


Lithium Primary Batteries

These are single-use batteries that contain lithium. They are not as hazardous as lithium ion batteries because they don't hold as much energy, but still pose a fire risk. They can be tricky to identify because they often look very similar to batteries with other chemistry, but usually have the word "lithium" printed on both the batteries themselves and the outer packaging. Lithium batteries should not be placed in household trash or recycling. They can be dropped off at the locations listed under "all dry battery types" below, and through Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) programs​. Please place each battery in its own sealed baggie for safety when dropping off.

Lithium Primary Batteries Image

​Lithium primary batteries can look a lot like other, less hazardous types. Look for the word "lithium" on the battery.


Non-Lithium Coin and Button Cells

These are small single-use batteries that are typically used in devices like watches, small home decorations and hearing aids. These batteries often contain mercury and heavy metals like silver and cadmium, which can leach from landfills and be highly toxic. Therefore, these batteries should not be placed in household trash or recycling. They can be dropped off at the locations listed under "all dry battery types" below, and through Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) programs​. Please place each battery in its own sealed baggie for safety when dropping off. For large quantities of small batteries (e.g. hearing aid batteries), tape them using strips of packing tape or seal them back into their original packaging.


Alkaline Primary Batteries

These are the most common type of single-use battery. Some people remember being told that they should not go into household trash because they contain mercury. However, federal Mercury-Containing and Rechargeable Battery Management Act of 1996​ ended the use of mercury in alkaline batteries. Alkaline batteries can safely/legally be placed in the trash. However, some drop-off locations (see he locations listed under "all dry battery types" below) do take them for recycling. If throwing in the trash, please throw them out as you use them instead of storing them up and throwing them all out together. They can go into trash loose. The best way to reduce alkaline battery waste is to switch to rechargeable battery types (e.g. rechargeable non-lithium, described below). 

Alkaline Primary Batteries Image

The best way to reduce battery waste is to switch from standard alkaline to rechargeables. One rechargeable NiMH battery can replace ~15 alkalines!


Non-Lithium Rechargeable Batteries

This type of battery can come in a lot of shapes and sizes. Some are the same size as standard alkaline, while others, typically used for power tools or similar devices, are much larger. They sometimes also come bundled together with a single charging tether. The chemistry is usually nickel metal-hydride (NiMH), nickel-cadmium (NiCd) or small sealed lead acid (Pb). These metals can leach from landfills and be highly toxic. Therefore, these batteries should not be placed in household trash or recycling. Once these batteries no longer hold charge, they can be taken to any of the drop-offs listed below or disposed of through Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) programs​. Please place large and powerful batteries (small sealed lead acid, nickel-types >9 volts, bundled batteries) into individual sealed baggies for safety when dropping off.

Rechargeable batteries Image

Non-lithium rechargeable batteries come in several different configurations.


Wet Cell/Lead Acid Batteries

This type of battery is generally used for vehicles and sump pumps. They contain a significant amount of toxic lead and must be recycled. State law requires all retailers selling wet cell batteries to take batteries for recycling at a 1:1 equivalence. They should not be placed in household trash or recycling bins. Once these batteries no longer hold charge, they can be taken to a drop off for wet cells listed below or disposed of through Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) programs​.

Car and Truck Batteries Image

Heavy wet-cell batteries contain toxic lead acids

Check out our new interactive map of battery and light bulb recycling drop-offs in and near Kane County!​​​ Click on the "four corners" icon at the top right of the header bar to open the map in a new browser ​tab.


​Battery Drop-offs (all dry cell, inc. alkaline - blue on map)

​Batavia Public Works
(Batavia Residents Only​)
200 N. Raddant Rd., Batavia, ​630-454-2000​
M-F 8am-3pm

Elgin Township Highway Garage
(Kane County Residents only, NO Businesses!)
725 S. McLean Blvd.
Elgin, 847-741-4637

Elgin Fire Department, Station 2​
(Kane County Residents only, NO Businesses!)
650 Big Timber Road
Elgin, (1/4 mile West of Route 31), 847-741-4637​

Elgin Fire District Annex
(Kane County Residents only, NO Businesses!)
8N709 Stevens Rd.
Elgin, (Hopps and Stevens Roads), 847-741-4637


​Geneva Public Works
(Geneva Residents Only)
Public Works building - front desk
1800 South Street, Geneva, 630-232-1501
M-F 9​:30am-3:30pm ​

Pingree Grove Fire Station
39W160 Plank Rd.

Elgin, ​847-741-4637

Municipal Marking Distributors/FlatCan Recycling
17 Galligan Rd.​
Gilberts, 847-426-3561
M-F 7am - 4pm
  • Fee of $3.25/lb applies

Batteries Plus
Geneva: 1492 S. Randall Rd. / 630-313-5700​
Elgin: 352 S. Randall​ Rd. / 847-289-8990
Montgomery: 1072 Ogden Ave. / 630-381-0700
  • Fees may apply - check with location for pricing
  • Please call your closest location for hours and to confirm, that they are taking batteries or bulbs at any given time, as it is inconsiste​nt

Battery Drop-offs (rechargeable types only - orange on map)


  • Naperville HHW Facility, 156 Fort Hill Dr. / 630-420-6095 (also accepts lithium primary and other coin & button primary types but no alkaline batteries)
  • S​&S Recycling II, 336 E. Sullivan Rd., Aurora / 630-844-3344
  • Elgin Recycling, 660 Schiller St., Elgin & 161 Center Dr., Gilberts / 847-393-8964
  • All Lowes and H​ome Depot locations
  • All uBreakiFix locations​

Battery Drop-offs (wet cells - dark pink on map)


  • Any retailer selling wet cell lead acid batteries must take batteries for recycling by law (purchase of a new battery may be required). These locations are not all on the map as they are very numerous. Map locations are no purchase required.​
  • Naperville HHW Facility, 156 Fort Hill Dr. / 630-420-6095 
  • S​&S Recycling II, 336 E. Sullivan Rd., Aurora / 630-844-3344
  • Elgin Recycling, 660 Schiller St., Elgin & 161 Center Dr., Gilberts / 847-393-8964​