The law requires recycling of batteries/Photo: Heather Kennedy

Berkeleysider Randolph Kielich writes in with what should be a simple question: “We are trying to recycle or return all of our alkaline batteries and not throw them in the garbage. Where do we go?” State law, not incidentally, requires safe disposal of batteries. Throwing them in the trash is against the law.

The city’s website has the answer, but it’s not exactly easy.

Alameda County residents and small businesses can use the Alameda County Hazardous Waste Disposal facility. There is no charge. Batteries, paint, pesticides, solvents, cleaning fluids, and other hazardous materials do not belong in household trash or down the drain, because they can pollute water supplies. To properly dispose of these materials call 800-606-6606 or to find out when you can bring your items to their North Oakland location.

If you go to the Stop Waste website, you have to navigate three levels past the home page to get the details on the Oakland facility, 2100 East 7th Street, which is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. There’s also some useful advice on the site, principally to switch to rechargeable batteries. If you want to recycle your rechargeable batteries, there’s yet another site that can help you.

Finally, Ikea in Emeryville used to have a bin which took recycled batteries and lightbulbs but, last time we checked, the furniture store was no longer offering that service.

Update Thanks for the comment from TN (below), who points to the Community Conservation Center at 2nd and Gilman. They take all sorts of stuff, including up to 5 pounds of batteries. If you bring in more than not, there’s a per pound charge. The Department of Public Works needs to update its website. It says the CCC accepts “glass bottles, cans, plastic bottles, white paper, mixed paper, newspaper, cardboard and small scrap metal (no appliances)”. They do in fact take appliances and a host of other items beyond that list.

Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...