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Battery Recycling

Types of Batteries

Penn State is committed to the proper recycling and disposal of used batteries generated during University operations. Below please find information to help ensure that used batteries are recycled/disposed safely and according to federal and state regulations.

Rechargeable Batteries

Nickel Cadmium (NiCad) Batteries:
Typically used in cordless tools, two-way radios, laptop computers, cell phones and other equipment. These batteries contain cadmium, a heavy metal that is hazardous to people and the environment. 

Nickle Metal Hydride (NiMH) Batteries: 
Typically used in cordless tools, laptop computers, cell phones and other equipment. The components of these batteries are hazardous to the environment.

Lead Acid Batteries:
Typically used as a backup power supply for computers (UPS’), emergency lighting, security and fire alarms and to power vehicles. These batteries contain lead and sulfuric acid, both of which are hazardous to people and the environment. (Car batteries from Penn State fleet and department cars are recycled through OPP's garage. Take your battery to the garage or email for pick up.)

Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) Batteries: 
Typically used in photographic equipment, cell phones, cordless tools and laptop computers, and are becoming very common in use. These batteries are hazardous to the environment and pose a significant fire risk if not handled properly.

For more information about rechargeable batteries, please visit The Beginners Guide to Rechargeable Batteries.

Non-Rechargeable Batteries

Alkaline Batteries:
Typically used to power radios, flash lights, and other equipment.  These batteries contain a small amount of potassium hydroxide, which does not pose a significant hazard to people or the environment.  These batteries are not required to be collected and can be disposed in the regular trash.  If you prefer to recycle them, they can be taken to a battery recycling location.

Dry-Cell Batteries:
Typically include alkaline, carbon zinc (9-volt, D, C, AA, AAA), mercuric-oxide (button, some cylindrical and rectangular), silver-oxide and zinc-air (button) batteries. Most small, round "button-cell" type batteries are found in items such as watches and hearing aids and contain mercury, silver, cadmium, lithium or other heavy metals that are hazardous to people and the environment. These batteries should be disposed of through EHS (link to website).

Large Batteries >3 lbs:
Contact EHS directly for the recycling of large batteries. 


Batteries are not to be brought from home!

Recycled batteries should be from University business only. For disposing batteries used at home, please contact CCRRA or visit