Single Use Battery Recycling

Single-Use Battery Recycling Information 

Single-use batteries (AA, AAA, C, D, 9V) are now being recycled on the Medical Center Campus at select locations. There is an opportunity to recycle over 10,000 pounds of single-use batteries per year on campus. 

The batteries are being taken to the Cross Training Center to be recycled. The Cross Training Center is a local organization that will use the funds for programs that assist disadvantaged adults with job training and life skills.


What kinds of batteries can I recycle in the designated white bin?
Only single-use alkaline batteries can be recycled through this program. This includes AA, AAA, C, D, and 9V. Please look at the batteries carefully before placing them in this container as some rechargeable batteries look like single use alkaline batteries.

Are rechargeable batteries regulated by the EPA?
Rechargeable battery regulations vary state to state based on what’s in the battery.  In Nebraska, rechargeable batteries are regulated as Universal Waste.  Rechargeable batteries used on the Med Center campus must be collected separately, tagged with a chemical collection tag and picked up by Chemical Safety, 559-6356.  Rechargeable batteries from home cannot legally be brought to the Med Center campus and given to Chemical Safety.

Can I recycle single-use watch or button batteries?
No, those batteries cannot be recycled as part of this program, but please continue to collect them, complete a chemical collection tag and contact the Chemical Safety Office when you are ready for disposal.

I have batteries from home I would like to recycle, can I recycle them here?
No, this is designed for batteries from the Med Center campus only.  If you have personal batteries to recycle, you can take them to Batteries Plus stores. They collect them for recycling at no charge, but check with the individual store first. Other stores also collect batteries, but we don’t know if those get recycled. 
Recycling batteries from home at the Med Center campus is potentially illegal (depending on the type of battery), stretches our limited resources, and will risk the future of this program.

I would like a container for my department. Where can I pick one up?
Please contact the Chemical Safety Office at 559-6356 for a container. Calling ensures a container is available for pickup at Shackleford Hall (across Emilie Street from the DOC and SSP buildings). In most cases, a container will be delivered to your area.

I have a container for my department but the lid has gone missing. Is it possible to get a replacement?
At this time, we do not have extra lids. Please check back as we expand the program.

What do I do if a battery is leaking or corroded?
Place any leaking or corroded batteries in a clear plastic baggie and then place it in the container for recycling. All other batteries should be loose in the bin, not in any other type of container or bag.

Should I be concerned about acid build up on batteries?
Batteries usually have a long time before acid build up occurs. If it does occur, place the battery in a small plastic bag before placing it in the container.

What do I do when the designated single-use battery container is full?
When your container is full of single-use batteries ready to be recycled, please fill out the Chemical Safety Collection tag and call Chemical Safety at 559-6356. Please allow up to three days for the full container to be picked up, and a new container delivered.

How do I fill out the Chemical Safety tag?
When the container is full of single-use batteries, please fill out the appropriate Chemical Safety tag for pick up.  Blue tags are for TNMC and green tags are for UNMC.

The following fields need to be filled out on the Chemical Safety tag:

Calling Party: Your name
Supervisor: Your supervisor’s name
Phone#:  Phone number where UNMC Chemical Safety Office can reach you if they have questions
Department: Your department
Building/Room #:  Where should UNMC Chemical Safety pick up your container of batteries?
Date:  The date you call in your full container of batteries
Chemicals: Used Alkaline Batteries

The remaining fields on the tag may remain blank.



Where do the batteries go?
The hospital and the university have partnered with the Cross Training Center, a local organization that assists disadvantaged adults with job education and training with funds from the recycling and other programs.

Why does the City of Omaha recommend putting batteries in the regular trash steam?
Alkaline batteries are not regulated by the EPA and by law can go into the trash. It can be challenging and labor intensive to extract the reusable materials/metals from single-use batteries. At this point in time, the City of Omaha does not require that batteries be recycled and does not have a system in place to route these batteries to the appropriate recycling facility. Because these items can be recycled we choose to offer this program.

I have heard that 9-volt batteries can be a fire hazard; is this process safe?
Yes, extensive research with battery recycling companies, transport companies, and manufacturers has been done to make sure this process is safe for the personnel recycling and the locations of the bins. 

If you want, you may place a piece of electrical tape over the top of the battery or recap it with the cap from your new battery prior to placing it in the bin, this stops the potential arc that could lead to the potential fire, but this is not required.  If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact LiveGreen at

If you have any additional questions, please contact LiveGreen at
LiveGreen thanks Chemical Safety for all of their work on this project.