An update on University Park's Battery Recycling Program for employees

November 04, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Employees who are on the University Park campus during the COVID remote-working period who need to recycle batteries can email the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) department to arrange for collection, as the usual battery collection sites are not available due to safety concerns.

Once the campus returns to full occupancy, the University plans to implement a new, building-centered approach managed by a designated battery collection leader.

Penn State is legally obligated to collect and properly manage specific batteries — nickel cadmium, nickel metal hydride and lithium-ion — which contain components that are hazardous to people and/or the environment if not managed correctly.

This system applies to most small batteries except alkaline batteries, which can always be disposed of in the regular trash. A full description of various battery types can be found at Penn State's Sustainability Institute.

This program is only for batteries used in University-related business — non-Penn State related batteries (aside from alkaline batteries, which should be thrown out) may be recycled at places like Home Depot, Best Buy, Lowes, Staples and the Centre County Solid Waste Authority. Other locations can be found through Call2recycle.

Future University Park changes

Once the University Park campus returns to full occupancy, Penn State will be making it easier for University Park employees to appropriately recycle their work-related batteries, by appointing for each buliding a battery collection leader in charge of managing a battery mailer program.

This will replace the 10 collection bins which had been distributed around the University Park campus. The discovery that few of the batteries collected in these bins were properly bagged, thereby posing a fire hazard, prompted the change. Each building’s battery collection leader will appropriately bag the batteries and send them to EHS for processing. 

Commonwealth Campus system remains unchanged

The system for recycling batteries at the Commonwealth Campuses remains unchanged. Faculty and staff at the Commonwealth Campuses should contact their regional EHS coordinator to recycle properly those work-related batteries that require management.

Questions about changes to the battery program can be sent to EHS.

Last Updated November 04, 2020