Batteries/Battery Pack Management

Battery Recycling Program

Alkaline batteries are not rechargeable and are not considered hazardous materials. With a reduction in mercury mandated in 1996, alkaline batteries are allowed to be disposed of as regular domestic waste. Alkaline batteries are not valuable materials, so disposal has a net cost to the party disposing of the material.

From a life cycle and energy analysis, studies have shown recycling an alkaline battery is more environmentally detrimental than disposing via landfill. Princeton University follows this guideline and does not recycle alkaline batteries. Please help our Building Services staff and discard of these items as refuse, directly in the trash.

Used batteries containing hazardous metals (e.g. mercury, cadmium, lead, and silver) are classified as universal waste rather than hazardous waste. This allows Princeton to recycle the batteries, while continuing to ensure that the batteries are handled in an environmentally sound manner. Lead-acid batteries are also recycled.

Building Services administers a collection program to encourage this recycling effort. Receptacles for Nickel-Cadmium, Nickel-Metal Hydride, Lithium, Lithium-ion, Mercury and Silver batteries have been placed in the stockrooms at Frick, Engineering Quad, Lewis Thomas Lab and Physics. Containers for additional areas are available through Building Services by contacting the Facilities Customer Service line at 609-258-8000.

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