Under Florida law, it is illegal to discard nickel-cadmium or small sealed lead acid rechargeable batteries or products containing such rechargeable batteries
in the trash. The batteries must be recycled or sent to a facility permitted to dispose of those batteries. This prohibition applies to every resident as well
as every business, institutional, government, industrial, commercial, communications or medical facility in the state.
Florida lawmakers passed the prohibition because of growing concern over the effects of the toxic heavy metals cadmium and lead on public health and the
environment. Cadmium and lead can enter the environment from several sources including solid waste landfills and municipal waste combustors. Once in the
environment both can accumulate in food crops and edible fish as well as appear in drinking water and the air we breathe. In humans and animals, long term
exposure to these metals can result in brain, lung and kidney damage and is suspected to cause cancer. Lead exposure is especially harmful to unborn and
very young children and can result in premature birth, slow growth and decreased intelligence.
This current ban enhances the existing solid waste disposal ban on vehicular (car, truck, boat) lead-acid batteries in effect since January of 1989. A
similar disposal ban on mercuric oxide batteries has been in effect since January of 1994. The DEP estimates that without this new comprehensive ban on
the disposal of rechargeable batteries more than 100 tons of cadmium and 400 tons of lead could be disposed of in the trash each year as a result of
Floridians discarding rechargeable batteries.
Homeowner's Guide to Battery Recycling and Disposal
Confused about all the types and sizes of batteries? This
explains how to properly dispose of various batteries commonly used around the home.