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Battery Recycling

Misc batteries in recycling bucket

Batteries can contain toxic heavy metals such as nickel, mercury, and lead which can pollute our air and water if not disposed of properly. Some batteries can be recycled, while others just need to be placed in the trash.

Alkaline batteries should be placed in the trash and will not be collected for special disposal. Alkaline batteries include AAA, AA, C and D batteries.

UCAR accepts lithium, nickel-cadmium, and rechargeable batteries generated by work activities for recycling. UCAR cannot accept your batteries (or any other recyclable materials) from home. To dispose of batteries from home, please check with your county's household hazardous waste program for battery recycling in your area.

Collection Locations for "Small" lithium, nickel-cadmium, and rechargeable batteries:

Batteries accepted from 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Contact HESS by calling x8583 for pickup of larger batteries, such as automobile, motorcycle or UPS.

Safety Procedures

All batteries must have the ends or terminals taped with clear tape, or must be placed in individual plastic bags, in order to reduce fire hazards from the possibility of batteries short circuiting when rubbing against each other in transit. Department of Transportation (DOT) rules require us to take these new precautions when preparing batteries for transport. Collection locations are stocked with tape you may use to cover battery terminals.

It is important not to dispose of large amounts of alkaline batteries in a group. Used batteries are often not completely "dead". Grouping used batteries together can bring these "live" batteries into contact with one another, creating safety risks.

Alkaline battery disposal guidelines

Alkaline batteries can safely be disposed of with normal solid waste. 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.

Batteries produced prior to the early 1990's contained mercury, posing health and environmental concerns when they were disposed of in the municipal solid waste stream. Since then, battery manufacturers have stopped adding mercury to alkaline batteries.

Proven cost effective and environmentally safe recycling processes are not currently available in our region. UCAR's disposal guidelines follow the recommendations from Boulder County and EcoCycle.

For more information about Battery Recycling:

For more information about recycling at NCAR/UCAR is available online from Sustainablility or by emailing

Last updated by jalipit on December 12, 2018 - 11:54am.
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