Over the last few decades, I've learned a lot of life skills: "righty tighty lefty loosey", how to change a tire, the fact that no one actually cares whether a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable... but the one thing I've never been sure of is how I'm supposed to dispose of used batteries.

Getty Images/iStockphoto/Canva
Getty Images/iStockphoto/Canva

I know I'm not alone because my wife is in the same boat. Every time a battery needs to be replaced, we take turns asking each other, "so what are we supposed to do with this thing again?" The closest we've got to a solution is collecting our dead AAs in a Ziploc bag that we keep in our junk drawer, but they've never left the house. Luckily for us (and you, because if you're reading this right now, I'm gonna guess you're wondering just as much as my wife and me), there are several convenient solutions right here in the Hudson Valley.

What's your type?

The first question you have to ask yourself is what kind of batteries you have to recycle. A simple breakdown will separate them into these categories: Alkaline/single use batteries, rechargeable batteries, car batteries, and cellphones batteries. Where you'll go depends on which kind you need to recycle. Let's start with the easiest types.

Rechargeable Batteries and Cell Phones

Many large chain stores in the country have teamed up with Call2Recycle, one of the largest nation-wide battery recycling programs. The following stores have easily accessible drop-boxes for your used rechargeable batteries, and some accept used cellphones as well.

John Cameron/Unsplash
John Cameron/Unsplash

Town of New Paltz Recycling Center- Before we jump into stores, you can always bring your rechargeable batteries and cell phones to the recycling center in New Paltz.

Home Depot- Home Depot will only accept rechargeable batteries, but most locations will have a drop-box near the entrance of their stores. Find your closest location here.

Lowes- Not to be outdone, Lowes not only accepts your rechargeable batteries, but your cell phones as well. As a bonus, they accept plastic bags for recycling, too, and there are plenty of locations in our area.

Staples- Before you head in to buy everything from office chairs to giant bags of candy, most Staples stores have rechargeable battery recycling boxes near their entrances.

Automotive Batteries

AutoZone- Not only will AutoZone accept your used car battery, they'll give you a gift card in exchange. There are plenty of locations in the Hudson Valley.

Single-Use Alkaline Batteries

These are the hardest type of battery to recycle. In fact, the easiest way to dispose of them isn't to bring them to a store, but to actually mail them in. Call2Recycle not only has business partnerships, but offers residential mail-in recycling as well. check out your options here.

12 Things You Should NEVER Recycle

While many people already know that recycling is good for the environment, they may actually be putting the wrong things in their recycling bins. Here are 12 items that most people think are recycled, but are usually just discarded into the trash at the transfer station.

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