Battery recycling

UW recycles all types of batteries. Batteries cannot be placed in the trash because they contain corrosive acids and toxic metals. Businesses, including UW, are also required to recycle alkaline batteries even though households can place them in the trash.

e-media bin

If you have less than five pounds of batteries, take them to the nearest e.Media program to recycle batteries as well as cell phones, "electronic media" such as CDs, and inkjet cartridges. Emedia bins are available in most libraries and public areas on the Seattle campus. There are two bins at UW Bothell (in the library lobby and upstairs in the Media Center) and one at Cascadia Community College (in CC1, on the first floor in the main lobby.) There are two at UW Tacoma (in front of Enrollment Services in GWP 102 and in the office at MAT 004.)

To request a special collection of more than five pounds of batteries, including large research and heavy equipment batteries and the occasional laptop battery that won't fit in the e.Media bins, fill out and mail or fax us a One-Time Battery Collection Request (PDF). If your location has been issued an EHS routine number for batteries, you can go to Routine Battery Pickup to submit a request for collection.

Batteries rarely leak, but if you find a leaking battery, put it in a plastic bag or container. Wear gloves and wash your hands after handling. Fill out and send to EH&S a Chemical Waste Collection Request (PDF) and EH&S will pick it up as hazardous waste. For a leaking lead acid battery (in UPS units and similar), we advise that you neutralize the leaking acid with baking soda (sodium bicarbonate.) Wear gloves and wash your hands afterwards, and be careful with your clothing and shoes. Put the battery and spill debris (paper towels, gloves) in a container and fill out the request as above for battery and debris. If you have any questions, call the EH&S Spills Advice Line at 206.543.0467 during business hours.