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Battery Disposal

Introduction
The decision on the proper disposal of batteries can be confusing. The information listed below
is intended to assist the Temple community in determining the proper method of the disposal of
batteries that were purchased with University funds and used for used for official business (i.e.
Temple) related activities. The primary disposal goal of batteries at Temple University is
recycling/reclamation.
Individuals with batteries used for personal reasons are encouraged to use curbside recycling,
household hazardous waste programs or recycling drop programs for proper
disposal. The Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation has additional information as well
as a search engine to assist you in finding a convenient drop off location. Earth 911
( www.earth91.com) is another useful website for information about recycling batteries. Consult
with your local municipality on alternatives to landfill disposal of alkaline batteries.
How to Identify What Type of Battery You Have

The majority of newer batteries are labeled with the battery type or name. This information is
usually stated on the side of the battery. The battery should be managed as Hazardous and
processed through Environmental Health & Radiation Safety (EHRS) if you are unsure or unable
to identify the battery type or name.

Types of Batteries
Alkaline

Alkaline Batteries are commonly referred to as disposable or non-rechargeable


batteries. Alkaline batteries usually come in sizes such as AAA, AA, C, D and 9-volt. Alkaline
batteries are typically found in electronics and flashlights. Alkaline batteries are not required by
federal legislation to be recycled, even though some states have legislated recycling for alkaline
batteries. Currently, Pennsylvania does not have legislation requiring recycling of alkaline
batteries and Temple University does not recycle alkaline batteries. EHRS does not currently
collect alkaline batteries.

Temple University Health System (TUHS) entities should contact EHRS at 215-707-2520 for
additional site specific information.
Lead Acid- (Pb)
Lead acid batteries destined for disposal are considered hazardous due to the lead content and
corrosive nature of the acid inside the battery. These batteries come in various sizes and shapes
and are most commonly found in cell phones (older versions), camcorders, power tools, medical
equipment, battery backup systems/UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply), and in motorized
vehicles such as automobiles or golf carts.
Lead Acid- (Pb) -- Large Automotive

Automotive batteries should be exchanged whenever you purchase a replacement battery. Please
coordinate with the supplier/vendor prior to purchasing. Batteries being immediately exchanged
do not require a Universal Waste label.

Nickel-Cadmium (Ni-cd)
Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd) is perhaps the most common rechargeable battery encountered. These
batteries are considered hazardous due to their cadmium (Heavy Metal) content. Ni-Cd batteries
come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes and are found in cellular phones, medical equipment,
power tools and rechargeable flashlights.
Button Cell Batteries
Button batteries are considered hazardous because they often contain mercury, silver or lithium.
These batteries are often found in watches, calculators, hearing aids and other small electronic
devices.
Miscellaneous

There are many different types of batteries that you may encounter and the majority of them are
considered hazardous due to their chemical make up. Please handle any battery that you are
unable to identify if or are unsure of its chemical composition as hazardous.

Examples include but not limited to:

Zinc Air ( used in hearing aids and older cameras)


Nickel Iron ( used in backup systems )
Nickel Metal Hydride ( rechargeable battery used in electronics)
Mercury or Mercuric oxide (small electronic devices such as pacemakers and hearing
aids)
Silver Oxide (electronics)
Lithium* ,Lithium Ion* or Lithium Hydride* ( used in electronic medical devices, toys
,and small portable electronic devices)
Magnesium*
*Note: Batteries require additional safety precautions. Please contact EHRS immediately at 215-
707-2520.

Equipment Containing a Non-Removal Rechargeable or Non-Rechargeable Battery

Any piece of equipment must be handled as hazardous if it contains a battery that is not capable
of being removed. Please contact EHRS at 215-707-2520 so that arrangements can be made to
evaluate the piece of equipment.

Training
Any employee who handles used batteries containing hazardous materials is required to have
initial and annual refresher chemical waste training. All new employees are required to have
their initial training within 30 days of their initial employment date. Please visit the EHRS
training page or contact the Training Program Coordinator at 215-707-2520 for additional
information.
Damaged/Leaking Batteries
The following steps must be taken if a used battery shows evidence of leakage, spillage, or
damage.
Immediately contact Environmental Health & Radiation Safety at 215-707-2520 or
contact the Page Operator at 215-707-4545 after normal business hours and ask to speak
with the EHRS staff member on call.
If possible, contain the battery leak and put on pair of leather protective gloves and
immediately place the battery into a sealable container or sturdy plastic bag.
Do not store damaged/leaking batteries with undamaged batteries.
Multiple or Large Sized Batteries
Contact EHRS at 215-707-2520 if you will have large batteries or multiple (greater than 10)
batteries for disposal. Please make arrangements for their safe disposal prior to generating.
Storage Locations
All areas intended for the drop off or the storage of batteries must be approved and registered
with EHRS. Areas where you are generating the batteries are not considered a storage location.
Please contact EHRS at 215-707-2520 for information and regulatory requirements for a storage
location.
Supplies

It is the individuals departments responsibility for supplying labels, collection containers, pallets
or secondary containment if the type (s) or size(s) needed are not available through EHRS. All
items must meet the regulatory requirements as specified by the EPA and DOT. Please contact
EHRS at 215-707-2520 for guidance.
Disposal Instructions
Contact the manufacturer, place of purchase or supplier and determine if they have a
trade in or return program in place. Large lead acid or automotive batteries are often
traded in when purchasing a new battery.
Individual batteries must be placed into plastic bags or non-conductive electrical tape
must be placed over the terminals.
Do not mix different types of batteries together. This can result in fire, explosion or the
release of a hazardous material into the environment.
Do not collect damaged or leaking batteries with undamaged batteries. See section above
on Damaged/Leaking batteries.
Properly label your battery as:
Universal Waste:__________(battery type)
Example: Universal Waste: Lead Acid Battery
Request a Pick up from your location or drop off your battery at a designated drop off
location:
Request a pickup-Complete a Pickup Request Form under the Chemical Waste
section and submit electronically( E-mail request) or fax to 2-1600