City of

Drop Off Recycling Program For Household Batteries

The City of Madison has a drop off program for recycling household batteries. 

Madison residents can recycle their single use household batteries (A, AA, AAA, C, D, lantern batteries, etc) by bringing them to the City’s drop-off sites. All drop-off site restrictions will apply.

Before bringing your batteries to a the drop-off site, please read the below instructions.


Lithium ion batteries cannot be mixed with other household batteries.

Residents should separate them from your other batteries, and tape them in a manner that ensures their ends will not touch.

Residents should do this prior to arriving at the drop off site to recycle their batteries. Please use clear tape, such as packing tape. This is to help comply with US Department of Transportation regulations on shipping these types of batteries.

Lithium batteries are easily identifiable. They are the flat, button cell batteries, like those found in watches or hearing aides. They also can be camera batteries, or look like traditional single use batteries. The lithium batteries will be clearly labeled with the word "Lithium" or "Li-ion" on the side of the battery. If you are unsure if your battery is lithium or not, it is better to tape it up than not.

The easiest way to tape your lithium batteries is to first lay a strip of packing tape on a flat surface, sticky side up. Place the batteries onto the sticky strip of tape. Finally, press another strip of packing tape (sticky side down) on top of the batteries, making a simple package that prevents the batteries from slipping and contacting each other. See below for an example:

Taped lithium batteries using packing tape to ensure ends cannot touch

Taping the ends of the batteries would also be sufficient - though the above method works well when sorting several batteries at once.

This procedure is necessary because there is a fire concern for lithium batteries if their terminals contact each other.


  • City of Madison Drop Off Site, 4602 Sycamore Ave.
  • City of Madison Drop Off Site, 1501 W. Badger Rd.

Both drop-off sites have clearly marked containers for the household batteries. Please place the batteries into the correct container.

Due to the need to keep lithium batteries separated and packaged, the other city-supported drop off locations have stopped. The satellite locations would not be able to ensure that the lithium batteries they collect would meet the packaging and separation requirements. We do apologize for the inconvenience the contraction of available drop off sites may have caused.

Other drop off sites may exist at private locations throughout the city, but the requirement to separate and package lithium batteries will likely be enforced at these locations as well.

Batteries Plus locations will recycle batteries for a fee.

Other information

Single Use Batteries Vs. Rechargeable, Which Should You Choose?

Single Use Vs. Rechargeable Batteries

Rechargeable Batteries

Rechargeable batteries that no longer hold a charge can be recycled at many drop-off locations.

Rechargeable Batteries from Cell Phones and Cordless Appliances / Tools

These batteries can be removed from the appliances and recycled at many drop-off locations.

Watch & Hearing Aide Batteries

Most hearing aide retailers recycle these batteries as do many jewelers. If your store does not recycle these batteries, they can be packaged as noted above and then mailed to the Streets Division, 1501 W. Badger Rd., Madison, WI, 53713. Attn: Bryan Johnson. They can also be dropped off at either drop off location, 4602 Sycamore Ave. or 1501 W. Badger Road during drop-off site hours.

Vehicle Batteries

Vehicle batteries and other lead acid batteries can be easily recycled.