University of Vermont

Recycling & Waste Management



Batteries are found in numerous electronic devices, cell phones, MP3 players, laptops, computers, watches, cameras, etc. They come in many shapes and sizes but the most common are AAA, AA, C and D cells. Batteries may contain any of several heavy metals, including mercury, lead, nickel, zinc or cadmium. They may also include corrosive liquids (sulfuric acid) or reactive metals (lithium). 

For this reason, batteries on the UVM campus should not be put in the regular trash or recycle bins.  Batteries are collected in a cooperative effort between UVM Recycling and the Environmental Safety department. 

Disposal at UVM

battery_collection_bucketLook for special collection buckets in the following locations:

  • All Residence Hall Complex Front Desks (please ask the desk staff for exact location)
  • Bailey-Howe Library, across from Circulation Desk
  • UVM Bookstore (where new batteries are sold)

In addition to the above locations, staff and faculty in other buildings can collect used batteries in a small cardboard box, bag, or other sturdy container. When the collection container is full, staff must complete a "Laboratory Waste" pickup tag in order for Environmental Safety staff to come and empty the box. This can be done on-line through Environmental Safety: visit  for details or write to:

Lead acid car batteries should be returned to the automotive supply dealer when purchasing a new battery (usually for a deposit). 

Final Destination

After leaving UVM, batteries are shipped for recycling throughout the Northeast, primarily to the Inmetco facility located in Pennsylvania.  The hazardous metals and some other metals are recovered.  The remaining portions are disposed properly as trash.

[Return to Recycling & Waste Disposal Guide]

Last modified April 06 2011 02:31 PM

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