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How to Recycle Batteries in Houston, Texas

By Jennifer Poole
Regular household batteries aren't easy to recycle.

The City of Houston, like most cities, does not offer recycling for regular household batteries. Today's alkaline dry-cell batteries are considered safe to throw in the trash, because they're no longer manufactured with mercury or high amounts of heavy metals. City of Houston recycling centers do accept two kinds of batteries: lead-acid batteries, used in cars and boats, and rechargeable batteries.

Gather and Sort

Gather all your old, dead batteries from closets and drawers. Check the labels carefully to identify any small rechargeable batteries and place all rechargeable batteries in one container. Most of your used batteries will likely be regular household batteries in familiar sizes like "C", "A" and "AAA." Place all regular household batteries in a second container. You may have "button" batteries used in watches or talking greeting cards: separate these small round batteries into a third container. If you have an old laptop battery or two, place these in a fourth container.

Check your garage for old lead-acid car and boat batteries. Place each of these bigger batteries in a cardboard box or plastic tub for easy transport.

Load up your rechargeable and lead-acid batteries, and take them to one of three recycling centers in Houston: the Westpark Consumer Recycling Center or the North or South Environmental Service Centers.

Westpark Consumer Recycling Center 5900 Westpark Drive Houston, TX 77057-7522 713-668-9551 Mon. - Sat., 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

North Environmental Service Center 5614 Neches, Bldg C Houston, TX 77026 713-551-7355 2nd Thursday of each month 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

South Environmental Service Center 11500 S. Post Oak Lane Houston, TX 77035 713-551-7355 Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 2nd Saturday of each month, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Retail Stores and Commercial Recyclers

Take your "button" batteries back to where you bought them; the store is required to take back your batteries and recycle them for free. If you don't know where they were bought, try any national electronics or office supply chain store. Auto parts and boat supply stores will also take back car and boat batteries for recycling.

Send your alkaline household batteries to be recycled by mail. Two national companies, Battery Solutions and Waste Management, Inc., offer pre-paid kits for alkaline battery recycling. Order the kit, use it to store dead household batteries, and send it back in with the pre-paid label when full.

Take old laptop batteries and other dead electronics, to CompuCycle, which promises its e-waste is shipped to processors "that have strong reputations as environmental stewards and acceptable downstream practices."

CompuCycle 7700 Kempwood Dr. Houston, Texas 77055 713-869-6700 1-888-314-7922

 

Things You Will Need

  • 3 or 4 containers for different types of smaller batteries
  • Boxes or tubs to transport large batteries

About the Author

 

Jennifer Poole started writing for the Bay Arts Review in Berkeley in 1977. She has worked as staff copy editor and reporter for the San Francisco Bay Guardian, the San Jose Mercury News, the Willits News and the Ukiah Daily Journal. Poole attended the University of Maine at Farmington.