Utica, NY (WIBX) - Starting today, a new state law is requiring all rechargeable batteries to be recycled, rather than thrown away.

According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, this includes the disposal of nickel-cadmium batteries, dry cells and the popular lithium ion batteries.

Others, including common alkaline batteries and batteries that power golf carts or power wheelchairs are not covered under the new law.

Dave Lupinski, of the Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority, said the new law holds manufacturers to task.

"It helps properly dispose of material and the manufacturer can no longer just sell something and forget about it," Lupinski said. "They have to think about the material from cradle to grave.  Once a battery reaches the end of life,  how they're going to be handling it and how it has to be recycled."

Lupinski also said that by proper disposal of the batteries is safer for those getting rid of them.

"Lithium batteries have actually been known to catch on fire," Lupinski said. "So, the lithium batteries, you know, they do carry such a high charge, that if they're disposed improperly, can cause fires when they're mixed in the garbage. So, by taking them out, it helps us with the concern of improperly disposing the batteries."

Anyone with rechargeable batteries may drop them off at the Solid Waste Authority's facility on Leland Avenue, in Utica, or drop them off in recycling boxes at major retailers, including Wal-Mart and Lowe's.

For more information on the law and to see what types of batteries are eligible, visit the D.E.C. website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/environmentdec/72469

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