Batteries - Recycling at SLU | St. Lawrence University Environmental Health and Safety

Batteries - Recycling at SLU

The NYS Rechargeable Battery Recycling Act has made it illegal to throw out rechargeable batteries with your household trash.  Batteries such as rechargeable AA’s, rechargeable power tool and laptop batteries, small sealed lead-acid batteries and others are included in the ban.

Rechargeable batteries

Brewer Bookstore, IT Helpdesks at Madill and ODY, the Chemistry stockroom in Johnson 328 and Office Services in Vilas Hall have special boxes for spent rechargeable batteries.  Be sure to place each battery in its own plastic baggy (available at the collection site) before putting it in the box.  Instructions are posted on the collection box.  Any person may drop off up to 10 rechargeable batteries per day.  Full boxes are mailed back to Call2Recycle.  You may visit their website at http://www.call2recycle.org to see examples of rechargeable batteries and learn how the batteries are then recycled.  Lead-acid batteries such as car, truck and lawn mower batteries are returned to retailers that sell new batteries.

Alkaline single use batteries

Please do not place non-rechargeable alkaline batteries (common 9-volt, AA, AAA, C and D cells) in the call2recycle collection boxes.  Alkaline batteries can be safely disposed of with normal solid waste. Due to concerns about mercury in the municipal solid waste stream, battery manufacturers eliminated all of the added mercury from alkaline batteries since the early 1990s. Alkaline batteries are composed primarily of common metals — steel, zinc and manganese — and do not pose a health or environmental risk during normal use or disposal. 

We recycle all of the alkaline batteries collected on campus through the St. Lawrence County Department of Solid Waste.  We support the recycling of all batteries but according to State and Federal environmental regulations it is not illegal to treat alkaline batteries as regular solid waste.

If you’d like to recycle your alkaline batteries,  look for the battery bucket located in your building's recycling center or custodial closet.  If you can't locate it, ask your custodian or call Facilities at 5105.  Buckets are also paired with the rechargeable battery boxes.  Students may use the battery bucket provided in each residence hall recycling room.  The campus Environmental Compliance Officer sorts all the batteries after the containers are delivered to a central storage shed.  To have a full container of batteries picked up or to order a new battery bucket for your work location please complete a Facilities Operations Work Request.  If you would like a Call2Recycle box for your office or shop please email the Environmental Compliance Officer, Suna Stone-McMasters at smcmasters@stlawu.edu.

Household Waste - Recycling Information for St. Lawrence County Residents

For  information about recycling waste you generate at home, you may want to contact St. Lawrence County's recycling coordinator.  Recycling information can be found at http://www.co.st-lawrence.ny.us/Departments/SolidWaste/Recycling.  The county has a contract with Kimco of Kingston, Ontario for recycling alkaline batteries.  Batteries are collected in 5 gallon pails and consolidated.  Stray rechargeables are separated out and alkaline batteries are added to scrap metal boxes.  The alkaline components are removed and remaining metals are smelted and reclaimed as any other precious metal would be reclaimed.  Unusable components are then landfilled.