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Rechargeable Battery Recycling

The NYS Rechargeable Battery Law (link leaves DEC website) (Article 27, Title 18 of the Environmental Conservation Law) was signed into law on December 10, 2010. The law requires manufacturers of covered rechargeable batteries who sell in or into NYS to collect and recycle rechargeable batteries through a manufacturer funded program at no cost to consumers. Most rechargeable batteries contain toxic metals that can be released into the environment when improperly disposed. NYS consumers can return rechargeable batteries to retailers that sell them for proper management and recycling at the end of their useful life.

Which types of rechargeable batteries are covered by the law?

  • Nickel-cadmium
  • Sealed lead
  • Lithium ion
  • Nickel metal hydride
  • Any other such dry cell battery capable of being recharged
  • Battery packs containing any of the above-mentioned batteries

Please note: The law does not cover: any of the above-mentioned batteries/packs weighing 25 pounds or more; batteries used as the principal power source for a vehicle, such as an automobile, boat, truck, tractor, golf cart or wheelchair; batteries for storage of electricity generated by an alternative power source, such as solar or wind-driven generators; batteries for backup that is an integral component of an electronic device; or any non-rechargeable batteries such as common alkaline batteries.

Who is affected by the law?

  • Manufacturers of covered rechargeable batteries
  • Retailers of covered rechargeable batteries that sell to NYS consumers
  • NYS consumers of covered rechargeable batteries
  • NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (Department)

Manufacturer Responsibilities

Under the law, manufacturers of covered rechargeable batteries or groups of collaborating manufacturers are responsible for financing the collection and recycling of rechargeable batteries, providing outreach and education to consumers, and annually reporting on the progress of their programs. Prior to selling rechargeable batteries in or into the state, manufacturers are required to submit a collection and recycling plan to the Department. For more information and additional requirements for manufacturers, please review Section 27-1807.2 of the law.

Please submit plans to:

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Division of Materials Management
Bureau of Waste Reduction and Recycling
Product Stewardship & Waste Reduction Section
625 Broadway, 9th Floor
Albany, NY 12233-7253

Retailer Responsibilities

Retailers that sell covered rechargeable batteries are required to accept used rechargeable batteries from consumers during normal business hours and are required to post conspicuosly placed signage informing consumers that they can return their used rechargeable batteries to the retail location for recycling. A retailer must accept up to ten batteries per day from any person regardless of whether such person purchases replacement batteries or shall accept as many such batteries as a consumer purchases from the retailer. For more information and additional requirements for retailers, please review Section 27-1807.1 of the law.

Consumer Responsibilities

Consumers are prohibited by a disposal ban from throwing their used rechargeable batteries into the trash. Consumers should make every effort to return their unwanted rechargeable batteries to a retailer that sells rechargeable batteries..

Disposal Ban

No "person" (as defined in Subdivision 1-0303(18) of the Environmental Conservation Law available on the right side of this page under "Links Leaving DEC's Website") shall knowingly dispose of covered rechargeable batteries as solid waste at any time in the state.

What is the Department's role under the new law?

The Department will be responsible for implementation and oversight of the law including reviewing and approving manufacturer collection plans. In addition, the Department is responsible for enforcement, analysis of information provided by rechargeable battery manufacturers, and submitting a report to the governor and legislature biennially.