I have an old LiPo battery that is nearing the end of its life, how can I dispose of it safely?

  • $\begingroup$ This question is not related to drones. Perhaps it belongs on SE.Electronics? $\endgroup$ Apr 16 '20 at 11:38
  • $\begingroup$ @KennSebesta Pretty confident it belongs here, as one of the example questions for this site $\endgroup$
    – Xnero
    Apr 16 '20 at 11:39
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    $\begingroup$ @Danil, could you point to where? In the commitment phase, area51.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/29920/… was asked and at that stage it was crucial to show how we'd be different from EE and ME questions. I feel this kind of open-ended question about a tech we just happen to use, but is not otherwise important to our field, is not in our domain. $\endgroup$ Apr 16 '20 at 11:59
  • $\begingroup$ This is a very drone-relevant question, as is evident by the huge number of articles and videos devoted to the topic of disposing of LiPo batteries in drone-related blogs/channels (and the relative scarcity of information on the same topic in non-drone-related sources). $\endgroup$ Apr 16 '20 at 12:55
  • $\begingroup$ @FlashCactus I agree with the importance, but the question I always like to ask is "how is this relevant to drones"? Disposal of hazardous waste does not change if the application was a drone or a UPS battery. If this question is already answered repeatedly, what do we think we can add to it so that this question/answer is uniquely valuable? $\endgroup$ Apr 16 '20 at 17:52

First is to discharge the battery to zero volts which can be done by using a LiPo charger or a light bulb. It can then be thrown into a recycle bin, but check with your municipality before doing so as some will not take them. There may be a local or regional centre where they can be dropped off.

It is not advised to use salt water as it takes a long time and its corrosive nature to metals can lead to incomplete discharge.

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    $\begingroup$ Check with your municipality before throwing the batteries into the recycle bin. Some will not take them. There may be a local or regional center where they can be dropped off. Don’t take disposal of LiPos lightly. It’s just a battery to us, but it could be dangerous in a building or vehicle filled with flammable material where the employees are not aware of what they are handling. $\endgroup$
    – Schome1
    Apr 16 '20 at 11:26
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, added @Schome1 $\endgroup$ Apr 16 '20 at 11:57
  • $\begingroup$ If you are sufficiently environmentally-minded, it's better to hand the batteries to a special battery-disposal facility; the chemicals involved in the manufacture of batteries are rather toxic and very slow to degrade to a more friendly form. $\endgroup$ Apr 16 '20 at 13:16

In the UK, battery retailers and distributors are required to accept waste batteries for disposal if they sell more than 32kg of batteries a year (see https://www.gov.uk/battery-waste-supplier-reponsibilities.)

It is also likely that your local municipal dump will accept batteries for disposal, but you will need to check for your area.


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