EPA Green Living hazardous waste disposal Sustainability

How to Dispose of and Recycle Batteries

Since the millions of batteries manufactured worldwide often end up in landfills, Rader has some helpful tips on reducing this household waste. This A-Z guide compiled by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will give you all the information you need to dispose of and recycle batteries properly.

When batteries from your cell phone, lawnmower, flashlight or any battery-powered device stop working, it’s time to remove them and replace them. Once you take them out and set them aside, determine which ones can be disposed of in your household waste/landfill, and which ones can be recycled.

Spoiler Alert: Alkaline Batteries Can Go in the Trash 


  • These common everyday batteries are used in such products such as alarm clocks, calculators, flashlights, TV remote controls, radios, remote-control products, children’s toys and other items.
  • For example, some common alkaline and zinc-carbon batteries include 9 Volt, AA, AAA, C, D and some button cells.

Find a Battery Recycling Location Near You

Batteries are manufactured using different mixtures of chemical elements designed to meet customers’ power and performance needs. Batteries can contain metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, nickel and silver, which can pose a threat to human health or the environment when improperly managed at the end of their service life. Battery types are identified by marking and labeling, not by the battery’s shape or the color of the label.

Used Ni-CD Batteries

Short for Nickel-Cadmium, two metals on the Periodic Table of the Elements, these batteries are typically used in cordless power tools, cordless phones, digital and video cameras, two-way radios, bio-medical equipment and video cameras. They may look like single-use AA, AAA or other alkaline batteries or a battery pack shaped for specific tools.

If Ni-CD batteries are removable, rechargeable batteries, they can be brought to specialized battery recyclers, or participating retailers that provide battery take-back services. In Rader’s hometown of Findlay, OH, Ni-CD batteries can be dropped off in the tools department at Lowe’s.

Used Lithium-Ion Batteries

Learn more about these batteries and their proper management.

Some batteries may also contain materials such as cobalt, lithium and graphite that are considered critical minerals by the United States Geological Survey. Critical minerals are raw materials that are economically and strategically important to the United States and have a high supply risk potential and for which there are no easy substitutes. Consequently, every effort should be made to recycle and recover these materials to ensure they will be available for generations to come.

Some Batteries Are Hazardous, Some Are Not

Once a battery is no longer useful, the type and chemistry of the battery determines which of the various waste management options to use. It is important to manage batteries correctly according to their type because some batteries can cause a risk to safety and health if mismanaged at the end of their lives.

Batteries can have enough energy to injure or start fires even when used and when they appear to be discharged. For safety, remember that not all batteries are removable or serviceable by the user—heed battery and product markings regarding safety and use for all types of batteries.

For more information, visit the EPA’s website

hazardous waste disposal Hazardous Waste Removal Mercury Mercury Spills and Removal

Disturbed Mercury: Why a Mercury Spill Is So Toxic

Mercury is a heavy, silver-colored element used in a variety of industries. While mercury has many uses, it should always be handled and transported safely if spilled. Disturbed mercury is especially dangerous because of the hazardous vapors it releases into the environment. If you don’t know how to handle and transport mercury properly, there could be toxic – or even fatal – consequences.

Watch This Video: Mercury – The Hazard You Don’t See

Disturbed mercury

Courtesy of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services 

Undisturbed, contained mercury is like a hornets’ nest tucked underneath a doorway that rarely sees the light of day. But that hornets’ nest has the potential to wreak havoc on its surroundings if disturbed or poked. Once disturbed, a swarm of angry, stinging hornets is headed your way! The same holds true for disturbed mercury: It can wreak havoc on its surroundings by releasing odorless and colorless vapors that are harmful when inhaled.

hazardous waste disposal Hazardous Waste Removal

Rader Handles Household Hazardous Materials

If you’re moving out of your house, about to embark upon a deep cleaning of the home you’ve lived in for decades, or simply want to clear the chemical clutter from your living space, turn to the experts at Rader Environmental Services. We can safely handle and process of all the household hazardous waste on your Hancock County property.

Prioritize Your Family’s Health and Safety

Health and Safety household hazardous waste - photo of baby looking in cardboard box

Household hazardous waste or unused/unwanted chemicals can be found in a variety of places: under your kitchen sink, in the garage, in a shed, inside a barn or anywhere else on your property. Common household waste includes paint, household cleaners, old laptops, light bulbs, batteries, motor oil, mercury devices, pesticides and more. These items should never be thrown in the trash, dumped in a landfill or poured down the drain because they will contaminate your community’s drinking water, the land where your food is grown, and the air we all breathe.

Here’s a complete list of the household hazardous waste Rader can handle in Findlay, OH, Hancock County and all of Northwest Ohio.

Old aerosol can - household hazardous waste

  • Aerosol Cans
  • Ammonia
  • Antifreeze
  • Batteries: Lead-acid, Nickel-cadmium (NiCd), alkaline, lithium
  • Brake Fluid
  • Bleach
  • Cell phones
  • Computers, laptops, tablets
  • Electronics
  • Gasoline
  • Household cleaners
  • Herbicides/Pesticides
  • Latex paint
  • Mercury
  • Mercury-containing devices
  • Motor oil
  • Oil-based paint
  • Paint thinners
  • Pesticides
  • Pool cleaners and chemicals
  • Propane
  • Stains and varnishes
  • Solvents
  • Transmission fluid
  • Wood stripper

Household hazardous Waste Requires Special Handling - photo of hazardous waste in garage


Household Waste Requires Special Handling

Unlike aluminum cans or old newspapers, household hazardous waste requires special care, handling, and attention. The Rader team has in-depth knowledge of E.P.A. best practices, extensive on-the-job experience, as well as Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) training to ensure your waste is handled safely and properly.

As a result of this training, we can advise you on the best ways to dispose of your hazardous waste. Most importantly, we can quickly and conveniently remove dangerous chemicals from your residence, making the environment safe and healthy for generations to come.

Safely dispose of household hazardous waste in Ohio -photo of house exterior

For nearly a decade, we have helped residents of Hancock and Putnam counties safely dispose of their household hazardous waste. We can help you, too!

Contact Rader Environmental to help you dispose of your household hazardous waste.


Factory hazardous waste disposal Hazardous Waste Removal

Recycling Hazardous Waste Protects the Environment

Hazardous waste recycling is a top priority for Rader Environmental Services. As often as possible, we facilitate the recycling or re-use of unwanted chemicals for companies, universities, healthcare facilities, school systems, and residents.

How exactly do we facilitate hazardous waste recycling? We start by determining whether the unwanted chemicals are used commercially or in a residential setting. For commercial entities, a chemist visits your workplace, manufacturing facility, lab, etc., to assess your company’s unique waste disposal needs. Then, the chemist or remediation expert devises a swift and efficient strategy to remediate the waste.

Household Hazmats vs. Commercial Waste 

For Northwest Ohio residents, we partner with local governments to host household hazardous waste collection day events. We assist Litter Landing in the spring and summer months and partner with Putnam County on their household hazardous waste collection days.

Rader remediates tons of household hazardous waste by recycling it or sending it to a processing facility for re-use. Latex and oil-based paint, lead-acid batteries, and electronics are examples of waste that are perfect for hazardous waste recycling.

In 2019, Rader achieved a significant milestone. “We not only facilitated the removal of a substantial amount of chemicals and household hazardous waste from Northwest Ohio communities, but we recycled nearly 90% of this waste,” says Joe W. Rader, president of Rader Environmental Services.

Recycling Paint

For both commercial and residential clients, we manage the recycling of old latex paint into new latex paint. Similarly, oil-based and flammable paints are repurposed as fuel.

Downcycling Mercury Lamps

Did you know that there is a small amount of mercury present in lamps and other devices?  And a mercury-vapor lamp is a gas-discharge lamp that uses an electric arc through vaporized mercury to produce light. We salvage the mercury from light bulbs, fluorescent lights, CFLs and other devices for re-use as new lightbulbs, thermostats or other products. In addition, the aluminum in these devices gets a new life as scrap metal, and the glass is downcycled into new glass, concrete, ceramic tile, countertops and more.

Batteries Are Closed-Loop Recycled

The common alkaline battery is difficult to recycle, but a lead-acid battery is not. As a matter of fact, a lead-acid battery is “closed-loop recycled,” In other words, every part of the old battery is reused into a new battery! Car batteries are often lead-acid batteries, (making Rader a great choice for auto body and auto parts shops.)

Which Batteries Can Be Recycled - photo of batteries


Here’s how closed-loop recycling works for lead-acid batteries. A chemist or Environmental Health & Safety expert turns the acid into water through a process called neutralization. When the acid is processed, it converts to sodium sulfate, an odorless white powder used in manufacturing. It is also used in laundry detergent, glass, and textiles.

Rader facilitates the recycling of NiCd or nickel-cadmium batteries and lithium batteries. Oftentimes, we send these rechargeable batteries to facilities that handle and process cadmium, a heavy metal. A smelter reclaims nickel-cadmium batteries as stainless steel.

Used Motor Oil Gets a New Lease on Life

According to the E.P.A., “used oil can be re-refined into lubricants, processed into fuel oils, and used as raw materials for the refining and petrochemical industries. Additionally, used oil filters contain reusable scrap metal, which steel producers can reuse as scrap feed.”

For more information on removing or recycling hazardous waste from the environment, contact Rader today.

hazardous waste disposal Hazardous Waste Removal Marijuana Waste

How to Safely Dispose of Medical Marijuana Waste

Rader Environmental specializes in remediating hard-to-dispose of or “challenging” hazardous waste. Due to all the legal restrictions surrounding it, one challenging material to dispose of in Ohio is medical marijuana waste. Medical marijuana dispensaries and testing facilities often have this type of material on-site at their facilities. 

So, how do these cannabis generators turn their surplus waste product into a non-controlled substance? According to the Ohio Administrative Code, marijuana, or cannabis waste, must be destroyed by rendering it “unusable.” Well, how exactly is marijuana waste rendered unusable? By grinding the waste and incorporating it with other ground material, such as compost. 

When all is said and done, the resultant mixture must contain at least 50% non-marijuana waste. This mixture can then be safely disposed of in a landfill, incinerator or non-hazardous solid waste facility.

Two types of materials are used to render marijuana unusable:

1. Compostable Waste 

Marijuana can be combined with compostable mixed waste and disposed of as compost feedstock. It can also be rendered useless via another organic waste method, such as an anaerobic digester, and can be mixed with: food waste; yard waste; vegetable-based oils or grease; or other wastes approved by Ohio’s State Board of Pharmacy, such as biodegradable products and paper, clean wood, plant materials, fruits or vegetables.  

2. Non-Compostable Waste 

Cannabis waste to be disposed of in a landfill or by another method must be mixed with the following types of waste materials: Paper waste, cardboard waste, plastic waste, soil, or other wastes approved by the state, including non-recyclable plastic, leather, and broken glass.

If you utilize the aforementioned disposal methods, the State of Ohio considers your marijuana waste unusable. At that point, it can be remitted to a solid waste facility, landfill or incinerator for final disposal.

Rader Launches Marijuana Waste Disposal Program

To help marijuana waste generators maintain clean, compliant and environmentally sustainable facilities, Rader Environmental can provide a customized marijuana waste disposal solution for any generator of this controlled substance. Read more here: Rader Marijuana.

Generally speaking, our approach includes these five steps: 

1. Management Plan Assessment

A Rader disposal expert will visit your facility or site to conduct a free compliance audit. After gathering all of the information and assessing your needs, we will implement a final waste disposal process.

2. Training, SOPs and Best Practices

As part of the next step, we provide you with training on how to safely dispose of marijuana waste and implement an inventory management system. Having standard operating procedures in place ensures that you are compliant with all state and local laws.

3. Placement of Compliant Containers and Placards

We will provide you with, or make sure you are working with compliant Department of Transportation (DOT) waste containers. These receptacles are locked and contain proper placards and signage describing the waste product.

4. Compliant Waste Destruction

Rader understands how to render medical marijuana unusable. We follow all state and local regulatory laws to ensure your waste is safely destroyed. We also have the proper personnel on staff to oversee the waste destruction process from start to finish.

5. Efficient Recycling and Disposal Services 

Your company’s customized medical marijuana disposal solution includes the choice of recycling the waste product or landfill/incinerator disposal. Either way, you will be fully compliant with DOT and EPA regulations and laws. 

Can I Get a Witness? Yes, You Better! 

The State of Ohio requires all waste and unusable marijuana products to be weighed, recorded and entered into the dispensary or lab testing facility’s inventory tracking system prior to rendering it unusable. One of your company’s key employees must witness the destruction of the material in a designated area with fully functioning video surveillance. Records of electronic destruction and disposal of the waste are required to exist for at least three years. 

There are additional laws and guidelines for the proper disposal of marijuana waste. If you have any questions, consult with your local authorities or the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy. We are also available to answer any questions you may have. 

Contact Rader Environmental to see how we can provide a customized solution for your medical marijuana waste disposal needs.

hazardous waste disposal Mercury

5 Ways to Protect Your Workers from a Mercury Spill

Mercury-containing devices can be found in almost every setting imaginable. Industrial facilities, medical facilities, personal residences, underground public transit, retail establishments and more are among the places where you can find these devices. Staff and contractors, such as cleaning crews, who come on-site to perform services are at risk if exposed to a mercury-containing device that shatters or breaks.

5 Things to Always Keep in Mind 

  1. There is always a potential for a mercury spill if a mercury-containing device is on your site.
  2. Dedicated cleaning equipment can eliminate the risk of contaminated equipment entering or leaving your business.
  3. Train all personnel (your employees and contract personnel) to recognize mercury and what to do in case of a mercury spill.
  4. Replace mercury-containing devices with non-mercury containing devices whenever possible.
  5. If you must utilize mercury-containing devices, train all personnel what to do in case of a mercury spill and the hazards of mercury.

Cleaning Companies Are at High Risk

Cleaning companies that offer their services on a contract basis are prime examples of a potentially at-risk group if exposed to mercury. Cleaning services often customize their schedules and work tasks to meet their clients’ needs. Services can include vacuuming, mopping, dusting and cleaning windows.  Most cleaning is done after business hours or a specified shift.

Cleaning companies can provide their own cleaning equipment, which may be dedicated to a client’s site or the cleaning company may use their equipment on multiple sites.  Some companies mandate the cleaning company use in-house owned equipment only.  Equipment use may also be a combination of the above.

A Case Study: Responding to a Cleaning Company Spill

Rader Environmental recently responded to a mercury spill at a pediatric care center.  The spill was caused by a leaking mercury-containing sphygmomanometer (blood pressure cuff).  In fact, it was somewhat of a fluke that the spill was ever realized by the pediatric care center.

Two contract cleaning personnel that had cleaned the pediatric care center after business hours just happened to be talking the next morning about a blood pressure cuff that was mounted on wheels leaked some “silver stuff” on the floor while they where moving it to vacuum.  Their manager happened to overhear the conversation and realized that they were more than likely talking about mercury.

The manager of the cleaning company immediately contacted the pediatric care center and told them what may have happened the night before during their routine nightly cleaning.  The pediatric care center contacted the local health department, which arranged for the air inside of the facility to be tested for mercury vapor.

Mercury Vapor Can Reak Havok on a Business

Mercury vapor was found to be at levels unsafe for occupancy.  The pediatric care center was forced to close for business until mercury was abated to safe levels for re-occupancy. Pregnant women and toddlers – the main clientele at this facility – are the most sensitive population to mercury vapor exposure.

Further assessment of the facility indicated that mercury had been spread throughout the facility by the vacuum cleaner.

The Double Whammy

The same vacuum cleaner that was used at the pediatric care center was then taken to another local business and used to vacuum the carpet.  Mercury vapor readings indicated mercury levels too high for occupancy at this business, forcing the business to close its doors until mercury cleanup was completed.

Fortunately, these were the only two offices that were cleaned by the contaminated vacuum. By chance, the cleaning company’s manager happened to overhear the two employees talk about the silver substance they saw while vacuuming.

Both offices were abated and re-opened for business.

The mercury spill in the pediatrics care center could have very easily been overlooked exposing staff and patients to mercury levels that are hazardous to one’s health for an unknown amount of time.

Contact Rader Environmental for your no-obligation mercury spill quote.