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Battery Disposal

Get information about used battery recycling or disposal. Find out the hazardous waste disposal procedures appropriate for your facility.

All used batteries are hazardous waste. Toxic heavy metals and corrosive properties of batteries make them unsuitable for disposal in the municipal trash because they can contaminate surface and groundwater. Used batteries generated on campus are collected by the EH&S Environmental Management Facility for recycling or disposal as hazardous waste.

Disposing of your UC San Diego batteries depends on where your facility is located, whether you have a Waste Generator Number (WGN) or not, and the size and type of battery:

Battery Disposal for Campus, SIO, UC San Diego Medical Center (Hillcrest) and Thornton Hospital

By Mail

Send used batteries through campus mail for disposal? When all the following are true, yes!

  • You are located on campus or at SIO (La Jolla); or mail delivery route at Hillcrest or Thornton.
  • You do not have a Waste Generator Number
  • The batteries are not leaking or corroded
  • The package weighs less than 2 pounds (if it weighs more than 2 pounds, see procedure below.)
How to do it:
  1. Cover the terminals with plastic nonconductive tape (Scotch® tape or electrical tape) to prevent the possibility of spark.
  2. Place the batteries in a sturdy bag or container. Limit the package weight to 2 pounds or less.
  3. Address the package to "Used Batteries" at Mail Code 0958.
  4. Note: Due to regulatory restrictions, only campus and SIO (La Jolla), UCMC Hillcrest, and Thornton Hospital may send used batteries through mail services.

Request a hazardous waste pickup if a battery weighs more than 2 pounds.

How to do it:
  • E-mail a request for pickup to 
  • Include this information:
    • Your name
    • Phone number
    • The number of batteries
    • Building
    • Room number where the batteries are located

Battery Disposal for Hazardous Waste Generators

1. Package and label the batteries

  • Place the batteries in a sturdy bag or container that encloses the waste (so the waste is not sticking out the top or sides of the container).
  • Keep the container closed when waste is not being added.
  • Label the container with a waste tag at the time you begin accumulating waste:

2. Request a waste pickup

Storage Time Limits

Keep UC San Diego in compliance. Request used battery waste collection before storage time limit is reached.

Questions? Contact the EH&S Environmental Management Facility, (858) 534-2753.