Batteries/Battery Pack Management

Battery Recycling Program

Non-Recyclable Batteries

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 discard of these items as refuse, directly in the trash.

Recycleable Batteries

The following batteries may be recycled at Princeton: nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cad), nickel-metal hydride, lithium, lithium-ion, mercury, silver and lead-acid.

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.

EHS 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 following locations:

  • E-Quad A134 (outside of loading dock)
  • Moffett R033 (outside of loading dock)
  • Icahn M06 storage (outside of loading dock) 
  • Frick (outside of stockroom)
  • MacMillan (1st floor receiving; hallway outside of B22)
  • 228 Alexander (1st floor OIT)  
  • 306 Alexander (break room)
  • PNI (loading dock)
  • 171 Broadmead (inside 128B work area and 122 upstairs) 

Containers for additional areas are available through EHS by contacting EHS at [email protected]

Learn More


Stanley Howell
Sr. Program Manager - Chemical Safety

Steve Elwood
Director for Research Safety