Battery Disposal

November 1, 2010
Thomas F. Hatch, MMC Safety Manager

Some types of batteries can be tossed in the regular trash.
Other types MUST be disposed of properly.
How do you know?
In General:

If it's Rechargeable, you need to Recycle it.
But certain non-rechargeable batteries like Button Batteries must also be recycled.
Here's a guide to help you tell what type of battery you have, and if it needs recycling.

please contact the MMC Safety Department at
662-2513 for disposal/ recycle instructions


Battery Style Description Recycle?
recycle

Carbon-Zinc

carbon-Zinc Battery Cheap,
short shelf life,
light duty

Commonly packaged with flashlights and toys

Not Rechargeable

NO
RECYCLE

trashcan

Alkaline

Alkaline battery Inexpensive
good shelf life
medium-heavy duty

Most common batteries sold
Used in flashights, toys

Hospital uses:
flashlights
pagers
wound irrigation pumps

Not Rechargeable


NO
RECYCLE

trashcan

 

Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH)

NiMH Batteries
Expensive
Medium Duty
Good shelf life

Rechargeable

Hospital Uses:
Rechargeable Laryngoscopes


YES

recycle

9 Volt

9 volt styleLithium 9v
Inexpensive to expensive
Medium Duty
Good Shelf Life

Available in:
Alkaline ( no recharge, disposable)
NiMH (rechargeable, recycle)
Lithium (rechargeable, recycle)

Uses:
Smoke Detectors
Electronics

recycle

READ LABEL

Lithium Flat

lithium flats
Expensive
Medium Duty
Good shelf life

Rechargeable

Common Uses:
Digital Cameras
Cell Phones
Laptop Computers

YES

recycle

Lithium Specialty

lithium specialty
Expensive
Heavy Duty
Good shelf life

NOT Rechargeable

Common Uses:
Digital Cameras

YES

recycle

Lead Acid

lead-acid batteries
Expensive
Medium-Heavy Duty
Good shelf life

Rechargeable

Hospital Uses:
Computer Power Supply

YES

recycle

Button Style

button batteries
Expensive
Small size
Long shelf life

Not Rechargeable


Common Uses:

Watch
Hearing Aid
Laser Pointer
Micro Flashlight
Electronics
Thermometers

YES

recycle

please contact the MMC Safety Department at
662-2513 for disposal/ recycle instructions



     

DATE: November 1, 2010

FROM: Thomas F. Hatch CHEM, Safety Manager

TO: Full Management

SUBJECT: Battery Disposal


During a review of the hospital’s hazardous materials waste streams and applicable regulations, the Safety Department considered cost and regulatory obligations with regard to battery treatment/disposal.

Currently the Safety Department is managing the disposal of all batteries such as Ni-Cads, lead, lithium and nickel metal hydride.  Batteries are collected for recycling and managed by Maine Medical Center’s (MMC) hazardous waste vendor; Clean Harbors Inc.

MMC departments also use alkaline batteries, sizes AAA, AA, C, D, and 9-Volts. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has stated that “they have not identified alkaline batteries as hazardous or universal hazardous waste, since United States manufacturers have removed all of the mercury from them in the past decade.”  Therefore, there are no hazardous materials in alkaline batteries and they have no recycling value.

In an effort to contain treatment/disposal cost, the Environment of Care Hazardous Materials and Waste Committee has approved the disposal of alkaline batteries, sizes; AAA, AA C, D, and 9-volt in the regular trash.

All other batteries such as Ni-Cads, lead acid, lithium and nickel metal hydride will continue to be managed as a universal hazardous waste and recycled. If you have batteries that are in the above categories please contact the Safety Department at 662-2513 for disposal instructions.

Thank you!