Batteries are used for a wide range of purposes throughout the campus (scientific and industrial instruments, laptops, cordless tools, vehicles, emergency lighting, back-up power supplies, mp3 players, cameras, cell phones, etc.). As a component of the campus hazardous material management program, the Environmental Health and Safety office (EHS) coordinates a process of battery recycling. Most batteries (especially rechargeable batteries) contain a variety of hazardous materials which must be disposed of/recycled appropriately and not sent to the landfill. All batteries collected from the campus are recycled responsibly per Department of Ecology and EPA standards. Virtually all types of batteries (lead-acid, sealed lead, gel cell, button cell, Ni-Cd, Ni-MH, Li-ion, alkaline, zinc-carbon, Ni-Zn, lithium, etc.) are accepted, although it is recommended that spent automotive/motorcycle battery cores be returned to the retailer when purchasing a new battery. Excluding returned cores, CWU recycles an average of almost 3000 pounds of batteries per year.
A number of campus locations have been designated as drop-off points with labeled receptacles for batteries (SURC information booth, Library Fishbowl, Science Building lobby). Departments may also contact EHS at 2252 to arrange for a pick-up of larger quantities of batteries at their location. Feel free to contact EHS with questions.