Battery Collection and Disposal (Environmental)
The purpose of this document is to describe the procedure to collect and dispose of lead acid, rechargeable, and alkaline batteries.
Batteries may contain chemicals that can negatively affect the environment. St. Mary’s University will recycle old batteries as applicable in accordance to the process described in this procedure.
This document applies to all departments and divisions of St. Mary’s University that use and/or are responsible for disposal of batteries.
Lead Acid Batteries
May be either sealed (used on fire alarm panels or UPS systems) or unsealed (used in motor vehicles and lawn equipment). Sealed lead acid batteries have acid in a gelatin form to prevent liquid spills and must be handled as universal waste. Unsealed lead acid batteries contain an electrolyte solution that can be refilled as needed.
- For lead acid batteries used in motor vehicles and lawn equipment the process is to exchange a quantity of old batteries with the quantity of new batteries being purchased from the manufacturer.
- The receipt for purchase of new batteries must include the number of batteries exchanged (considered disposal) in the transaction.
- For lead acid batteries used in fire alarm panels or UPS systems the process is to accumulate these in the Chemical Store Room until pickup by recycle vendor.
- A log sheet of all rechargeable batteries that are to be recycled or lead acid batteries pending disposal as Universal Waste should be kept by the automotive shop. The log sheet should have information of where the battery came from, what vehicle it came from, and the date the day the battery was received.
- Lead acid batteries pending disposal should be labeled as “Universal Waste” before the battery goes in to the Chemical Store Room. The batteries should be placed in an approved container and on a spill-proof pallet to prevent from spilling.
Nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cad), Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-Mh), or Lithium Batteries
The most common type of rechargeable batteries. These are often found in tools, equipment, and cellular phones. They come in standard assorted sizes and shapes. Most equipment that comes with a recharger probably uses Ni-Cad batteries. Ni-Cad batteries contain regulated amounts of cadmium and must be handled as universal waste.
- For rechargeable batteries, the process is either to be taken back to the supplier for recycle by purchaser or to be collected and accumulated in the Chemical Store Room until transferred back to a supplier drop off point by the designated Facilities personnel.
- Rechargeable batteries pending recycle should be labeled as “Pending Recycle”. Refer to Appendix-B.
Alkaline (9v, A, AA, AAA, C, D) Batteries
Commonly referred to as disposable or non-rechargeable batteries. They are used in exit signs, clocks, flashlights, and some electronic equipment. Alkaline batteries are non-hazardous and may be discarded in the solid waste stream provided the quantities are low.
Campus departments should call Facilities to place a work order for a special pickup for all batteries other than the alkaline batteries. Note: Campus departments may take the rechargeable batteries back to the supplier that the item was purchased from for disposal.
- Facilities assigns a specific task code to the work order indicating a universal waste pickup.
- Housekeeping personnel will pick up used batteries from the campus departments, including Facilities divisions, as scheduled.
- Facilities Department (Grounds and Automotive Division) is responsible to exchange lead acid batteries with purchase of new lead acid batteries and obtaining documentation to verify battery exchange.
- Facilities Department (Grounds and Automotive Division) is responsible to log all receipts of lead acid and rechargeable batteries on a log sheet, label batteries, and place in Chemical Store Room as applicable.
- Facilities Department (Grounds and Automotive Division) is responsible to schedule periodic pickups of used batteries stored in the Chemical Store Room from recycle vendor.
All personnel responsible for collection and/or disposal of batteries shall be trained on this procedure.
All records generated through this procedure will be maintained and filed in the Facilities Department Front Office for a minimum of 30 years.
Available in the Administration and Finance Office:
Appendix A: Battery Collection Log Sheet
Appendix B: Label to be applied to Lead Acid or Rechargeable Batteries Awaiting Disposal