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Battery Recycling

Batteries Dead? Recycle Instead!
2017 Battery Bag Image FrontThunder Bay periodically has a special curbside collection of single-use Household batteries.

The next curbside battery collection will take place on your regular recycling day, between April 18 and 28, 2017.

Prior to the two-week battery recycling period, a special orange battery collection bag will be delivered to homes served by curbside waste collection, at the end of March. Residents are asked to place spent batteries in the bag and put it out for collection at the curb on their regular recycling day between April 18 and 28. City waste collection staff will collect the bags.

Note: Your battery bag will be collected separately from your recycling. 

The batteries, along with the bags, will be taken to a recycling facility to be processed and recycled. 

Watch this short clip to find out more about battery recycling in Thunder Bay and what happens when your batteries leave the curb.

Didn't Get a Bag (or need extras)?
If you are in a rural area and receive your mail at a communal mail delivery box, your orange battery bag will be delivered via the advertising bag containing The Source.

If you do not receive an orange battery bag, or need extras, you may print off this handy PDF bag insert and use it in your own resealable bag to put out batteries for collection:

If you have questions about Curbside Battery Collection, please call the Infrastructure & Operations Dispatchers at 625-2195.

Between curbside collections, you can also deposit batteries for recycling at many year-round locations around the city - please see below.

Why Recycle Batteries?

It's very important to recycle batteries, and not allow them to go into the landfill. Batteries release potentially toxic metals such as nickel, zinc, lead, mercury, lithium, cobalt and cadmium into the soil, water and air. The good news is, when the same batteries go into recycling, useful materials are recovered and contamination is avoided. Battery recycling even lowers greenhouse gas production by reducing the need to mine and smelt new materials.

Battery Recycling Tips:

  • Spent batteries should be stored in a cool, dry place Battery Recycling Symbol
  • Make storage and recycling safer by placing masking tape over batteries' positive terminals - especially 9-volt batteries
  • For more information, visit the Raw Materials Company's How to Prepare Your Batteries for Recycling webpage

Battery Recycling

YEAR-ROUND Battery Recycling Locations

These locations accept primary (single-use) household batteries throughout the year.

  • Brodie Resource Library, 216 Brodie St 
  • County Park Library, 1020 Dawson Rd, County Fair Plaza
  • Mary J. L. Black Library, 901 Edward St S 
  • Waverley Resource Library, 285 Red River Rd
    (*check library hours at*)
  • Victoriaville Civic Centre, 111 Syndicate Ave S (next to the Cashiers, during regular office hours)
  • Household Hazardous Waste Depot, Solid Waste & Recycling Facility 5405 Mapleward Rd
  • EcoSuperior, 562 Red River Rd
  • Thunder Bay 55 Plus Centre, 700 River St

Rechargeable/cellphone/laptop batteries are also accepted at these retail locations:

  • The Source, Intercity Mall
  • The Source, Arthur Street Marketplace
  • Thunder Bay Communications, 1080 Lithium Dr
  • Best Buy, 767 Memorial Ave
  • MGM Electric, 724 MacDonnell St

Call ahead. Some businesses may charge a fee to accept your items.

Car batteries
are accepted at these locations:

  • Auto Parts Central, 1239 Amber Dr
  • Lakehead Scrap Metal, Mission Island
  • Lakehead Alternator & Starter Co. Ltd., 565 Eleventh Ave
  • Household Hazardous Waste Depot, Solid Waste & Recycling Facility, 5405 Mapleward Rd
  • Magnacharge Battery, 665 Beaverhall Pl

Button batteries can be dropped off at the jewelry departments of Walmart and Sears.

Success of the Curbside 2014 Battery Collection Program
In the spring of 2014, for the first time residents took advantage of collection bags delivered to their homes to put out more than 6,200 pounds or 2.8 tonnes of batteries at the curb on recycling day. By comparison, in all of 2013, seven tonnes of batteries were collected from all municipal sources including the Household Hazardous Waste Depot at the landfill and the other public collection bins. So, the spring 2014 curbside event brought in 40% of 2013 year-long total in only two weeks!

The fall curbside collection produced even more impressive results: 3.6 tonnes of batteries were collected, for a year-end total of 6.4 metric tonnes of batteries. 

Video Links:Battery Video Thumbnail

Fall 2014: Jason Sherband, the City's Solid Waste Diversion and Recycling Coordinator, talks with Shaw TV about the curbside battery recycling program, as well as the City's ReCollect waste collection reminder service. watch video

Roads and Fire Rescue

Spring 2014: Jason Sherband and Anthony Stokaluk explore the hows and whys of changing alarm batteries and recycling them (Shaw TV): watch video



There are two types of household batteries - single-use batteries ("primary cells"), and rechargeable batteries ("secondary cells").
Batteries and bag

Primary Cells
Common Uses
Alkaline                       Cassette players, radios, appliances
Carbon-zinc     Flashlights, toys, etc.
Lithium Cameras, calculators, watches, computers, etc.
Mercury Hearing aids, pacemakers, cameras, calculators, watches, etc.
Silver Hearing aids, watches, cameras, calculators
Zinc Hearing aids, pagers


Secondary Cells
Common Uses
Nickel-cadmium Cameras, rechargeable appliances such as portable power tools, hand-held vacuums, etc.
Small sealed lead-acid Camcorders, computers, portable radios, tape players, cell phones, lawn mower starters, etc.

For more information, contact Infrastructure & Operations at 625-2195.