Battery recycling

The law bans the disposal of all batteries (both wet and dry cell) in landfill or by incineration. This means that batteries must not be disposed of in the general waste; instead they must be separated from the general waste stream and sent for recycling.

The University has set up a corporate battery recycling scheme. Batteries are collected and stored centrally at North Campus, where they are collected periodically by a waste contractor for recycling.

Slightly different arrangements exist for wet and dry cell batteries.

Dry cell batteries

Zinc carbon, zinc chloride, alkaline manganese, mercuric oxide, zinc air, silver oxide, lithium, nickel cadmium, nickel metal hydride, lithium ion are all classified as dry cell batteries. Spent Oxygen sensor units should all be disposed of as a dry cell battery.

There are two ways to recycle your batteries

  1. You can take your batteries to your departmental collection point. Large collections of batteries can be booked as required by e-mailing waste@sheffield.ac.uk.
  2. Smaller volumes of batteries can be sent to the Environment Officer via the internal mail.

To ensure that dry cell batteries are stored safely prior to collection please make sure that:

  • Any exposed terminals are be taped up – this is to reduce the risk of fire,
  • Leaking batteries are placed in a plastic bag (preferably a transparent one).

Wet-cell batteries

Lead acid batteries; although sealed are classified as wet cell batteries. These batteries can be big and heavy.

Small sealed lead acid batteries can be disposed of in the same way as dry cell batteries – which is described above.

The Recycling Team will collect large and heavy wet cell batteries directly from departments, book a collection by e-mailing  waste@sheffield.ac.uk.

Departments must handle wet cell batteries with care prior to collection. Whilst awaiting collection, batteries must:

  • Be stored undercover and in a secure area where nobody can tamper with them, trip over them or anything can impact on them,
  • Be positioned the right way up,
  • Unless in original plastic outer containers, they must not be stacked on top of each other.