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Environmental Health and Safety Services
ESF Battery Recycling Guidelines

In a continuing effort to promote environmentally responsible recycling practices, ESF recycles batteries generated in offices, labs, and shops on campus. Some batteries contain small amounts of metals, such as mercury and lead, which can be hazardous to human health and the environment when improperly disposed. Hazardous batteries discarded in the trash ultimately end up in landfills, and from there they could potentially pollute the soil and groundwater. Many of these batteries can be recycled, and therefore should not be mixed in with the regular trash. It is SUNY ESF's practice, in accordance with EPA regulations, to collect these metal-containing batteries for proper recycling or disposal. Please follow the guidelines below for handling any used batteries generated at ESF. Your participation is vital to the success of this recycling program.

Determining What Batteries Should be Collected

Only certain types of batteries potentially contain hazardous levels of metals and are therefore suitable for recycling. The batteries that should be collected are as follows:

Battery Name Typical Sizes Common Uses
Mercury-oxide Small, button Cameras
Silver-oxide Small, button Pagers, medical equipment
Lithium C, AA, coin, button, 9 volt, 6 volt Computers, cameras, watches
Zinc-air Button, 9 volt Pagers, medical equipment
Nickel-cadmium C, D, AA, AAA, power packs Cell phones, camcorders, cordless tools, laptops
Sealed lead acid D, battery packs Camcorders, emergency lighting, power backup

Please note that the most common type of battery, the alkaline, in the form of C, D, AA, AAA, and 9 volt, is not considered hazardous. Alkaline batteries may be discarded in the trash.

Most batteries have labeling that indicates their type. If you cannot determine the type, submit the battery to the Environmental Health and Safety Office, and we will make a determination.

Submitting Batteries for Recycling

There are four locations designated for dropping off recyclable batteries. They are:

  • Environmental Health and Safety Office | 5 Bray
  • Computing and Network Services | 22 Bray
  • A&TS Chemical Stockroom | 123 Baker
  • Physical Plant Shipping and Receiving | Break Room

If you are not able to drop off your batteries at one of these locations, call the Environmental Health and Safety Office at x 6964 or e-mail at to arrange a pick up.

Used Batteries from Home

As some of you are aware, ESF is also a community collection center for used batteries generated in households. ESF collects these batteries in pails located near the main entrance of each building, and delivers them to the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency (OCRRA). OCRRA operates a program to recycle these batteries. Please continue to put your batteries from home in these pails. However, EPA regulations for the disposal of batteries generated in businesses differ from the regulations for batteries used at home. Therefore, it is important that you do not put used batteries generated at work in these OCRRA pails. They must be submitted separately to the Environmental Health and Safety Office, as described above.

You may call the Environmental Health and Safety Office at 470-6964 or 470-6896 with any questions. We appreciate your efforts to promote this environmentally responsible program.