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CCDES is a member of the Illinois Recycling Contamination Task Force, a group that addresses pressing recycling issues throughout the state. To answer specific recycling questions, the task force has launched the Dirty Dozen Campaign.
It is estimated that over 3 billion batteries were sold last year according to the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency. Batteries help power our lives, but we do not always know what to do with them when it is time to dispose of them. Whether you are disposing of alkaline, lithium, rechargeable, or the many other types of batteries we can find in our homes and garages they should never be placed in curbside recycling.
How to dispose of different types of batteries
Alkaline batteries are non-hazardous and may be disposed of in the trash.
Single-use lithium-ion batteries look very similar to alkaline batteries, so confirm the type of battery for safe disposal. Many of the Cook County municipal household hazardous waste programs will accept lithium-ion batteries for recycling, so first check out your local municipality’s website for information on how to recycle these batteries correctly.
Rechargeable batteries are also accepted in many municipality household hazardous waste programs for recycling. Always call first to verify that your local municipality’s household hazardous waste program or favorite retailer will accept batteries for recycling.
Lead-acid batteries are accepted for recycling at many specialty battery auto parts retailers.
Why should batteries be recycled right?
Old lithium-ion batteries may spark a fire if handled incorrectly. When finished with a lithium-ion battery, tape over the battery tops to prevent the contact points from touching each other or other metallic items. Place the old batteries in a clear container, like a resealable plastic bag. It is important not to place these batteries in curbside recycling carts as recycling facilities and truck fires have been reported due to batteries becoming damaged by the sorting or heavy equipment crushing the batteries. To help prevent battery fires and enhance workers safety, Governor Pritzker signed into law HB2296 which prohibits residents and businesses from placing rechargeable or lead acid batteries into recycling carts beginning January 1, 2020.
A Message from the President
I believe that Cook County should be a world-class model of sustainability. We are working not only to boost sustainability practices throughout County government, but also to join forces with local governments, nonprofits and business, to accomplish more than we could separately in making each of Cook County’s communities sustainable. To further this work, I appointed Deborah Stone as the County’s first Chief Sustainability Officer, and as Director of the Department of Environmental Control. I also recognize that Cook County needs to share ideas and collaborate with a diverse group of community leaders and sustainability experts. In March 2012, I appointed the Cook County Sustainability Advisory Council to help lift our vision higher and give us access to best practices. You can meet the Council members and read more about their mission in the “Advisory Council” section of this website. Toni Preckwinkle,Cook County Board President
What is Sustainability?
" Ensuring that there is enough for today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."Deborah StoneChief Sustainability Officer, Cook County Government
Contact UsCook County Chief Sustainability Officer
69 W Washington
Chicago, IL 60602
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