Fuel Cell Disposal Guidelines
Paslode, the industry leader in cordless tool technology, provides this information to assist users with the proper disposal of discarded fuel cells. Acceptable disposal options vary depending on the type of fuel cell user. All users must consider federal, state and local solid waste regulations to ensure that discarded fuel cells are disposed of properly. Users must contact their local solid waste authority for further guidance.
For All Users
Discarded fuel cells (used or unused) may be considered hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) depending on several factors as described in the paragraphs that follow. Upon disposal, used and unused fuel cells may be classified as ignitable hazardous waste (waste code - D001) under U.S. EPA regulations.
For Homeowners and Their Contractors
Hazardous waste generated by homeowners and contractors who perform routine maintenance for homeowners in their homes are not regulated by RCRA. In general, “household wastes” generated by homeowners and their contractors are exempt from hazardous waste regulation because those wastes are expressly excluded from the definition of hazardous waste. For example, U.S. EPA has excluded as “household waste” aerosol cans that contain residual product and propellant. Thus, under federal hazardous waste regulations, homeowners and contractors may dispose of discarded fuel cells as general refuse in a properly permitted municipal landfill. These users must still contact their local solid waste authority to determine if any state or local regulation prohibits or restricts such disposal.
For Retailers and Commercial, Governmental or Industrial Entities
In contrast to homeowners and their contractors, fuel cells disposed of by retailers and commercial, governmental or industrial entities including contractors on multiple unit construction projects (collectively “businesses”), may be subject to full regulation under RCRA depending on the “generator status” of the business. Under federal hazardous waste regulations, fuel cells discarded by businesses that are Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators (CESQGs) of hazardous waste may be disposed of in a properly permitted municipal landfill unless a state or local regulation prohibits or restricts such disposal. To qualify as a CESQG, a business must not generate more than 100 kilograms (approximately 220 lbs) of hazardous waste in any one month and must not accumulate more than 1,000 kilograms (approximately 2,200 lbs) of hazardous waste on-site at any one time.
Businesses that generate from 100 to 1,000 kilograms of hazardous waste in any one month are considered Small Quantity Generators (SQGs). Those that generate more than 1,000 kilograms of hazardous waste in any one month are considered Large Quantity Generators (LQGs). SQGs and LQGs of hazardous waste must dispose of discarded fuel cells at a properly permitted hazardous waste treatment, storage or disposal facility.
Paslode takes no responsibility for proper fuel cell disposal. Proper disposal remains the responsibility of sellers and users. All sellers and users must contact their local solid waste authority to determine if any federal, state or local regulation prohibits or restricts disposal.
Users may obtain more information about U.S. EPA hazardous waste regulations at the following internet address:
Alternatively, users may contact U.S. EPA in their respective parts of the country at the telephone numbers provided at the following internet address: