Button Battery Recycling Program


We’re collecting button batteries like these found in hearing aids, watches, car keys, etc.

Help get toxic button cell batteries out of the waste stream. Healthy Waltham is participating in a new partnership with the Waltham Recycling Department. Button cell-type batteries, commonly found in hearing aids, watches, car keys, and other small electronics, often contain mercury or other harmful substances that can be released into the environment when the batteries are discarded with regular trash. Now you can turn these batteries in to the Waltham Recycling Department, 165 Lexington Street, or at other locations in the city to benefit Healthy Waltham. Please see the following list of locations (would your organization like a collection box? Just let us know at info@healthy-waltham.org!). We will continue to add to these locations over the next weeks.

  • 165 Lexington St., Waltham Recycling Department
  • 735 Main St., Waltham Public Library
  • 488 Main St., Council on Aging/Senior Center
  • 84 South St., Waltham West Suburban Chamber of Commerce
  • 190 Moody St., Francis Cabot Lowell Mill Senior Apartments (Wellness Center)

Healthy Waltham will receive a donation from Wheelabrator, Waltham’s waste disposal company, for batteries we collect. Please note, we are only collecting the button cell batteries, not other types. Thanks very much to Jacob MacKay, a Brandeis student interning at the Waltham Recycling Department, for his article about our program for the Waltham News Tribune:


Button Battery Collection Box

Help Keep Toxic Button Batteries out of the Waste Stream

By Jacob MacKay, City of Waltham Recycling Department Intern

Button cell batteries often contain toxic elements that are classified as hazardous waste. These batteries are sometimes overlooked because they are so small, but they can be harmful if they are not disposed of properly. Healthy Waltham, a local non-profit organization that provides support to Waltham families, is organizing a button cell battery drop-off program in conjunction with the Waltham Recycling Department. Button cell batteries are found in wristwatches, hearing aids, cameras, calculators, and even electronic car keys. Depending on the type, button cell batteries could contain mercury, cadmium, or lithium, all of which are harmful to the environment.

The button cell battery recycling program is a benefit for Healthy Waltham, funded through Wheelabrator Technologies, the waste-to-energy combustion facility that burns Waltham’s trash. Wheelabrator works to divert all hazardous products from the trash. Because our garbage is incinerated at the Weelabrator Facility, button cell batteries should be diverted from the trash; burning them can release mercury into the air. Once airborne, mercury can leach into waterways and accumulate in fish, posing a threat to human health, and especially to pregnant women. It is crucial, therefore, to keep mercury and other toxins out of our trash, even in small amounts. Healthy Waltham has placed button cell battery collection boxes at the Senior Center at 488 Main Street, the Waltham West Suburban Chamber of Commerce at 84 South Street, and the Waltham Public Library at 735 Main Street, and other locations in Waltham (see the Healthy Waltham website for a complete list of locations).

Healthy Waltham will receive a rebate from Wheelabrator for button cell batteries collected. You can also bring the button cell batteries directly to the Waltham Recycling Department, 165 Lexington St. Waltham, from 8:30am-4:30pm. Please support Healthy Waltham and the environment by helping to get the button cell batteries out of the trash and turn them in to be disposed of properly! Please note, we are collecting the button cell-type batteries only. Regular alkaline batteries (A, C, D) can be discarded in regular trash. For more information about Healthy Waltham, please see http://www.healthy-waltham.org. More information about the Waltham Recycling Department can be found at http://www.city.waltham.ma.us/recycling-department.

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