Education & Research

State Recycling Laws

Information on individual state recycling laws can be found below and includes, but is not limited to deposits, refunds and refund periods. To learn more about the language that must be posted at a lead battery’s point of sale, visit the State Lead Battery Laws Point of Sale Language page.

Wondering why you’re paying a battery core charge when you purchase a car battery? A core charge is a form of deposit paid when you purchase a battery and is refunded to you when a used battery is returned in exchange, either at the time of purchase or when you return to the store with the battery you replaced. Core charges promote battery recycling. In all 50 states, retailers can charge a battery core charge and in over 30 states, it is required by law.

If your state's recycling laws are not listed below, view the BCI Model Legislation for state recycling laws. For more information on navigating state-by-state laws, check out the BCI Lead Battery State Retail and Recycling Laws Guidebook, which provides a comprehensive compilation of the laws and regulations in all 50 states that govern the retail sale and recycling of lead batteries. BCI members are eligible for a discount on pricing.

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona 
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho l
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kansas City, MO e
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota 
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Washington D.C.
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

a. Deposits are flat fees, minimums, or maximums

b. This refers to whose responsibility it is to make the educational signs, the state or the retailer. A "No" indicates that there is no sign requirement.

d. Retailers in CT must take back batteries one-for-one at the point of sale.

e. Kansas City's ordinance requires that retailers take back up to 3 batteries not at the point of sale, and it requires that junk batteries be stored in "an adequately ventilated enclosure in good repair that protects its contents from any precipitation, etc." Any spilled acid must be immediately collected and neutralized.

f. MN limits the number of batteries that a consumer can return to retailers to 5 at a time.

g. NH, NM, NV and MA placed a ban on the landfilling and incineration of lead batteries only. NV will allow lead battery disposal at stat "permitted" facilities, however.

h. OR requires that until 12/31/93 retailers must accept at least 1 battery from consumers, after which they must only accept batteries one-for-one at the point of sale.

i. NE placed a prohibition on only the landfilling of lead batteries.

j. WI retailers may charge $3 per battery returned outside of the trade-in scheme.

k. UT requires retailers to take back a maximum of two used lead batteries from customers. In addition to the BCI model law, a 1998 regulation prohibits solid waste disposal of lead acid batteries.

l. ID requires all lead batteries sold to be labeled with a universally accepted recycling symbol. In addition, batteries used in motorcycles, off-road recreation vehicles or lawn and garden equipment are exempt from the deposit in lieu of a trade-in requirement.

m. SC requires retailers to collect a $2.00 fee for lead batteries sold to the ultimate consumer. The retailer may retain three percent of the collected fees to cover administrative costs. Fees collected by the state treasurer are to be deposited into a Solid Waste Management Trust Fund. Small sealed lead-acid batteries are now exempt from the fee and BCI model provisions; however, a study on the recycling of these batteries is required. See S.C. Code Ann. x 44-96-40(23).

n. TX requires the collection of a $2.00 and $3.00 fee for batteries less than 12volts, and, equal to or greater than 12 volts respectively. Exempted from the fee is any battery that is: 1) rated at less than 10 ampere hours; 2) sealed so that no access to the interior of the battery is possible without destroying the battery; and 3) with dimensions (sum of height, width and length) less than 15 inches. The fees are to be collected by any wholesaler or retailer who sells a battery not for resale. To cover administrative costs, the dealer may retain 2-1/2 cents per unit. All remaining money, less four percent to cover state administrative costs, goes to the state comptroller to be placed in a waste remediation fund.

o. FL requires the collection of a $1.50 fee per battery at the retail level.

p. ME requires the collection of a $1.00 fee per battery at the retail level.

q. TN prohibits landfills or incinerators in the state from accepting lead-acid batteries for incineration or disposal. Further, lead-acid battery retailers must accept used lead-acid batteries as trade-in batteries.

x. SC’s Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has declined to state whether the $5 is a maximum or minimum.  However, DHEC instructed retailers that “if you determine that you, as a retailer, can charge more than the $ 5.00 regulatory amount, you should make sure that the consumer is aware that the amount in excess of the $ 5.00 regulatory amount is not a state-mandated fee, but is an additional fee being charged by you, the retailer.”  If an additional deposit is charged, it should be disclosed as being in addition to the $5 state mandated deposit in POS signage and as a separate line-item on receipts.

y. State law requires that the dealer charge a deposit, but does not dictate what the deposit shall be. Each retailer may establish the deposit amount charged.

z. State law allows the dealer to charge a deposit, and does not dictate what the deposit shall be.  Each retailer may determine whether to charge a deposit and establish the deposit amount charged.