Use a small light bulb to totally discharge them. Leave the bulb connected for a few days after it goes out. Then can check with volt meter to be sure it is dead, then throw away in garbage. Have read that the salt water does not work and eats the connections off. Makes it almost impossible to discharge then. The goal is to get all the charge out of the battery. No charge, no current, no heat to explode or short to cause a fire. A small load of any kind will do it over time. The very small batteries, have use a small electric motor.
+1 on the light bulb- You want one for 12v though.
I put alligator clips on an aftermarket marker light just for this very thing.
Clip it on until it's totally discharged.
I don't know what your recycling laws are like there.
Here, they are safe to throw in the regular garbage once they have been discharged.
No, it was a joke. That, "Everything is bigger in Texas," thing. I went to high school in TX, and also attended Sam Houston State University and Texas A&M for a bit. I lived in Madisonville (nowhere-vill) and Brenham (home of Blue Bell Ice Cream).
Oh! Whoops! lol.
Usually when I think about Texas, I think about summer heat with windy days.
Colorex: ha ha! It is just that I abused my battery so much, I want to know what to do when it finally goes out. I crashed my plane into a pole with the battery in front, I short circuited the battery a couple of times, done several nose dives with the battery in front...
all that and it still looks pretty new!
but I began to think after I short circuited it again by accident and a little smoke began to come out that it might not work anymore soon.
I understand what you mean about turning them in for recycling. I tried to turn my Lipos to my LHS and they said that they did not take then but to take them to battery + however they said "I dont want that thing." Asked Radio Shack they were like uh dunno so I just discharged them cut the wires off for later use and wrapped them up with tape and tossed it into the ole garbage can. Dont know if that was the environmental thing to do but...