This work describes ZnO micro- and nanostructures synthetized from spent household Zn-C and alkaline batteries. Zinc carbonate hydroxide Zn5(CO3)2(OH)6 nanoparticles, have been successfully obtained by the leaching of an ammonium carbonate/ammonic solution of black powder. After calcination process of this carbonate under different atmospheres, ZnO powders were obtained and used as the precursor material in the VS (vapor-solid) growth method in order to obtain micro and nanostructures. All the products of this recycling process were characterized by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), photo- and cathodoluminescence (PL, CL) and Raman spectroscopy. The investigation confirmed that the ZnO obtained from Zn-C spent batteries presents good luminescence properties, high crystallinity degree and it is a suitable material to be applied in sensor production.