Battery Disposal

Many types of batteries are considered Hazardous or Universal Waste and must be recycled or disposed of in compliance with U.S. environmental regulations.

Typical alkaline batteries can placed in the trash, but most other types cannot. Occupants of labs, classrooms, and offices on Purdue campuses use rechargeable batteries in countless devices -- cordless power tools, laptop computers, cellular and cordless telephones, digital cameras, laboratory equipment, and many other handheld devices.

The types of batteries that should be submitted to EHS include:

  • Nickel cadmium (Ni-Cad)
  • Nickel metal hydride (Ni-MH)
  • Lithium ion
  • Sealed lead acid
  • Mercury
A Battery Quick Reference Guide is available to help with the identification of batteries that must be submitted as Universal Waste, 

To dispose of batteries, submit a pickup request through EHSA. If the batteries are swollen, damaged, or leaking make note of that in the comment section of the pickup request or contact 4-0121.

More information about rechargeable batteries

  • Training is mandatory for all personnel handling rechargeable batteries for recycling.
  • Used rechargeable batteries may be classified as hazardous waste due to their heavy metal content and are thus regulated under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Those regulations provide for management of hazardous wastes. When broken, these batteries can release heavy metals that damage the environment.
Questions about battery disposal or immediate concerns should be directed to the Hazardous Materials Management group at 49-40121.
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