Welcome to “Ask Recology,” a monthly feature from sponsor Recology King County.

You have questions, Recology has answers!

Recology King County

Hey Recology, 

What is the best way to dispose of batteries and lightbulbs? 

Thanks for your help!

Hey Cole,

Disposal of these items can often be confusing for people, so we’re glad you asked where they belong. Due to the harmful materials that many kinds of batteries and bulbs contain, they are typically considered Hazardous Waste. For that reason, they should not be placed in any of your curbside bins* and instead be specially disposed of at specific locations.

Recology offers two options for proper disposal of batteries and fluorescent bulbs that are still intact:

  • Special item pickups: to schedule, please call or email customer service.
  • Recology Store: located at 15858 1st Ave S, Burien, WA 98148 (map below).
    • To drop off fluorescent bulbs and tubes, please ensure that: bulbs are not broken, tubes do not exceed 4 ft. and that you bring no more than 10 bulbs and/or tubes per daily drop off.
    • To drop off batteries, please be sure to cover each negative and positive end of the battery with clear packing tape only. There is a limit of 1/4 gallon per daily drop off.

For more information on Recology store hours and preparation requirements for other special items, please see our guide linked here.

There are also options for drop offs of batteries, bulbs and other hazardous materials at various Hazardous Waste Facilities. Visit the King County Hazardous Waste Management Program website to learn more.

*Please note that the only bulbs which are allowed in curbside trash at this time are Incandescent, Halogen, and LED light bulbs. If you are choosing to dispose of them this way, please be sure to wrap them in heavy paper before placing them in your trash bin to eliminate any dangers associated with breakage of the bulbs.

As always, we can answer any additional questions you may have through email, at RKCWasteZero@recology.com or via social media!

For more ideas on how to reduce waste, visit one of our Recology stores! The Burien Recology store is located at 15858 First Avenue S, #A100 Burien, WA (map below).

You can also find more Waste Zero tips on our Recology King County social media pages listed below:

Thank you,

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