Battery Disposal

Advances in battery chemistry has made battery disposal more ecologically sustainable and convenience for the enduser. Below are some guidelines to help you navigate the correct route of disposal

Alkaline Batteries

The Environmental Protection Agency passed The Mercury-Containing and Rechargeable Battery Management Act of 1996 to phase of the use of mercury-containing batteries in consumer electronics. Based on Federal regulation and the City of Houston Soild Waste Management Department regulation, it is acceptable to disposal of these items in the general trash. It is advisable to insulation or tape the terminals of 9V batteries to avoid sparks or fires during transport.

Rice EHS will no longer accept these items for recycling. If your department generates significant amounts of battery waste of this kind, it is recommended to use rechargeable batteries in lieu of alkaline.

Recyclable Batteries

Not all single use battery can be disposed in the general trash. Coin batteries typical found in small electronic contain metals that are either toxic to the environmental or reactive when opened. Some examples are

  • Lithium coin batteries
  • Mercury and silver oxide batteries

Rechargeable batteries have a defined duty cycle and are no longer able to hold an effective charge after repeated use. These metals inside these items can recycled to reclaim materials used in the production of new batteries. Examples of some items that Rice EHS will accept are

  • Rechargeable battery packs such as NiCd or Ni-MH
  • Integrated rechargeable battery in device such as cell phones, air sampling detectors, etc
  • Laptop batteries
  • Mobile radio battery

Any exposed terminals should be insulated with tape to avoid sparking during shipment.

Lead Acid Batteries

Lead acid batteries are typically found in cars or UPS devices and are quite heavy to transport. Submit a Hazardous Material Pickup request and an Rice EHS representative will come to assist in removal.

RECYCLED BATTERIES PROGRAM ARE FOR RICE UNIVERSITY BUSINESS ONLY. Do not bring any household items for recycle. You can refer to the City of Houston Solid Waste Management Department for locations for personal recycling centers