Under Florida law (403.7192(3)(b), F.S.), it is illegal to discard nickel-cadmium or small sealed lead acid rechargeable batteries or products containing such rechargeable batteries in the trash. The batteries must be recycled or sent to a facility permitted to dispose of those batteries. This prohibition applies to every resident as well as every business, institutional, government, industrial, commercial, communications, or medical facility in the state.
Homeowner's Guide to Battery Recycling and Disposal
Confused about all the types and sizes of batteries? This battery guidance document explains how to properly dispose of various batteries commonly used around the home.
Florida Statute 403.7192 requires that manufacturers and marketers of rechargeable batteries and rechargeable battery-powered products sold in Florida implement a unit management system. The unit management system should clearly inform consumers of the disposal prohibition, ensure batteries and products are labeled to show electrolyte and disposal options, and provide a program to properly collect, transport, and recycle or dispose of the batteries and products. If the manufacturers and marketers fail to comply, they are not allowed to sell their batteries and products in Florida. Batteries and battery-powered products subject to this requirement are limited to nickel-cadmium and small sealed lead-acid rechargeable batteries weighing less than 25 pounds and not used exclusively for memory backup, as well as mercuric oxide non-rechargeable batteries.
Battery Recycling Advisory from DOT - The Department of Transportation (DOT) has published a letter describing shipping requirements for spent batteries that include covering terminals prior to shipping to prevent short-circuiting.
Alkaline Battery Shipping Guidance - PHMSA (Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration) has clarified that you do not have to cover the terminals of spent alkaline dry cell batteries (9 volts or less) during shipping.
Lithium Battery Recycling Regulatory Status and Frequently Asked Questions - The US EPA issued a memorandum on May 24, 2023, intended to clarify how the hazardous waste regulations for universal waste and recycling apply to lithium-ion batteries. Recent interest in the regulation and management of lithium-ion batteries at the end of life has prompted the EPA to examine specifically how universal waste handling requirements, hazardous waste recycling regulations, and other RCRA Subtitle C provisions apply to this waste stream.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.