Are Flashlight Batteries Recyclable? Learn Everything Here

 Last Updated on May, 2024

Though, in actuality, you can recycle almost any battery, the technicalities of recycling flashlight batteries require more information.

Most batteries are recyclable, with a more significant portion recycled relatively easily. 

However, the answer to the question with regards to whether you can recycle your flashlight battery rests on the type of flashlight that you have on your hands and the type of flashlight battery. 

The question of recycling batteries depends solely on the type of battery. Depending on the type of battery in question, how you handle a dead battery will vary.

Everything you need to know about recycling FLASHLIGHT BATTERIES is herewith in this article; hence keep reading. 

Before anything else, let’s first understand the types of flashlight batteries to better elaborate on whether they can be recycled. 

Quick Summary

There are two main types of batteries used in flashlights: lithium ion and alkaline.

Both lithium ion and alkaline batteries are recyclable, but the process for recycling them varies.

Single-use batteries should be recycled, and recycling centers and hardware stores are good places to take them.

What Types of Batteries are Used in Flashlights?

a human holding Batteries

Primarily there are two main types of flashlight batteries. 

  • Lithium Ion Batteries
  • Alkaline Batteries

These are the two main types of batteries that are found in a flashlight. Though there are various models and makes of both types of batteries, these are the two broad umbrellas on the types of batteries for flashlights we understand. 

For instance, the 18650 is a lithium-ion battery popularly used in various flashlights by various brands. These batteries are rechargeable in nature and vary from the standard disposable battery. 

Alkaline batteries, which include both AA and AAA batteries, come in both rechargeable and non-rechargeable form; however, are better known as disposable batteries or one-time-use batteries. 

While lithium-ion batteries use lithium as the primary chemical composite of the battery, alkaline batteries use various alkalis as the primary chemical composite. 

When considering recycling flashlight batteries, you must consider the battery type and the chemical composite. Not all batteries are recycled the same way. While some battery types are recyclable, not all battery types are.

What Battery Types are Recyclable?

When considering flashlight batteries, considering the more significant chunk uses either alkaline or lithium-ion batteries, you will be happy to know that BOTH these batteries are recyclable. 

That means there is an excellent chance that you will be able to recycle the current battery on your flashlight. 

Apart from lithium-ion and alkaline batteries, button batteries are too recyclable. 

However, the method of recycling various types of batteries varies, and you should always check with the recycling facility to confirm whether they can recycle the specific battery in question. 

In general, however, almost all recycling facilities are capable of handling lithium-ion and alkaline batteries; however, it is best to verify with the facility personally. 

Are Lithium Batteries Completely Recyclable?

Lithium Batteries on the floor

Recycling lithium batteries is varied to the process involved in recycling lithium-ion batteries. Lithium batteries are easier to recycle than lithium-ion batteries. 

Lithium batteries can be recycled, but recycling lithium-ion batteries are a lot more complex and complicated. 

Lithium-ion batteries contain highly flammable compounds, which is why they can be dangerous if recycled incorrectly. 

Thus, though many recycling facilities accept lithium batteries, they don’t all deal with lithium-ion batteries. 

Lithium batteries, including lithium-ion batteries, can be recycled entirely.

However, the techniques used for both vary. You will have to check with the facility to ensure that the specific type of battery is for certain recyclable under that facility.

Are Alkaline Batteries Completely Recyclable?

YES, alkaline batteries are completely recyclable, though you tend to throw them in the trash. 

Many people either don’t know enough about alkaline batteries or are not bothered to recycle. Alkaline batteries, however, can be recycled and are, in fact, easier to recycle than other batteries. 

Alkaline batteries are considered one of the most common types of batteries. Due to the abundance of alkaline batteries, facilities capable of recycling alkaline batteries are also abundant. 

With most recycling facilities accepting alkaline batteries, it is better to recycle them than throw them in the trash. Hence, if you can, by all means, you should recycle alkaline batteries, which again are COMPLETELY recyclable. 

How to Recycle Flashlight Batteries?

Recycle Flashlight Batteries on the table

The first thing you must do to recycle flashlight batteries is to find a facility that recycles said make and type of battery.

Once you have found a facility that accepts these batteries, it is only a matter of dropping them at the facility. 

The science of recycling flashlight batteries includes stripping the parts for plastic, metal and other composite and neutralizing the chemical that was stored in the battery. 

Though you don’t have to worry about the details of how flashlight batteries are recycled, all you have to do is ensure you drop the right batteries with the correct facility. 

Dropping batteries in the wrong facility is just as bad as throwing them away. In order for these flashlight batteries to be recycled, you have to drop them off at the proper recycling facility. 

While some flashlights allow you to access the battery, some flashlights have built-in batteries that may require technical expertise.

In such cases, you may need the technical expertise of someone capable of dismantling the flashlight to remove the battery or contact the flashlight’s brand technical team for help and assistance. 

If you are capable of safely removing the batteries from the flashlight, the only thing you will have to do is ensure you drop the batteries to be recycled at the correct recycling facility.

Should Single Use Flashlight Batteries Be Recycled?

flashlights and batteries on the table

Single-use flashlight batteries, otherwise known as disposable batteries, should undoubtedly be recycled. 

Think of it this way, will you not be using MANY MORE batteries for a flashlight that uses disposable batteries than a flashlight with a rechargeable battery?

Just the fact that you will be using MORE batteries makes MORE sense to recycle them. Batteries are an environmental hazard and often contain chemicals that could disrupt environmental conditions such as soil fertility. Hence, throwing them away to rot in a garbage pile somewhere makes the least amount of sense. 

As with any battery, if you have the option and the means to recycle them, you MOST certainly should!

Single-use batteries, such as AA or AAA batteries, which are not rechargeable, will drain with the flashlight.

Hence, when the batteries exhaust themselves, it is hoped that you take the wise option and recycle them.

Where to Recycle Batteries?

Batteries are often recycled at recycling centers around the world. However, there are specific recycling centers, only made for recycling batteries. 

These battery recycling centers specialize in recycling batteries and are the best place to take your dead batteries for recycling. 

Various battery and electronic shops also offer recycling services. If you need direction on where to drop your exhausted batteries, try to do a simple search on Google with your location+ battery recycling center. 

Otherwise, you can ask around town. If nothing, I am sure you will find a hardware store that will take the dead batteries off your hands and divert them to an available recycling facility elsewhere. 

You need the proper recycling facility for the correct type of battery. Hence, check with the facility first if you are hoping to recycle batteries directly through a recycling center. 

Recycling Built-in Flashlight Batteries 

Flashlight Batteries

Recycling built-in flashlight batteries is a little more complicated. In order to recycle an in-built battery, you would first have to remove the battery from the flashlight. This may become a complicated task, depending on the make and type of flashlight. 

However, built-in flashlight batteries are recyclable; however, it will depend on the type of battery. Built-in alkaline or lithium-ion batteries can be recycled; however, you must remove the battery from the flashlight first.

If exposing the battery at home is not possible, it is recommended that you seek technical help from someone with the expertise to dismantle and repair a flashlight. 

Once the built-in battery has been removed from the flashlight, it is a matter of simply dropping the flashlight at a recycling center, based on the type of battery. 

Finals Thoughts

Flashlight batteries are most certainly capable of being recycled. However, how you recycle the battery will depend on the type of flashlight battery. 

Most flashlight batteries are either lithium-ion or alkaline, both of which are recyclable. Hence, if you have a flashlight, it is essential that you consider recycling your batteries, which is the safest option for not only you, who wants to get rid of these batteries, but also the planet. 

Flashlight batteries, to most parts, are recyclable. Even the built-in lithium-ion batteries of most flashlights are recyclable. 

Remember, if your flashlight runs on disposable single-use batteries, it is essential that you get into the habit of recycling them. You really don’t want to litter the planet with the 100s of disposable batteries that you could potentially use in the timespan of a few years. 

FAQs

Yes, flashlight batteries are recyclable.

Yes, lithium-ion batteries are recyclable, though the process is more complicated than recycling lithium batteries.

Yes, you should recycle disposable flashlight batteries to reduce waste and conserve resources while saving money.

Yes, removable built-in flashlight batteries can be recycled.

Using a search engine, such as Google, you can search for battery recycling centers near your location.

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Author
Dillon Morrison
I have been involved in the flashlight community since 2007. My brother has a flashlight shop from where I have tested and reviewed more than 600+ different types of flashlights. You can find more about me here.

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