Alkaline Batteries

Why don't we recycle them?

Sometimes we get the question of why Creighton only recycles rechargeable batteries and not "regular" alkaline batteries.

The simple answer is that alkaline batteries are not hazardous to the environment since the removal of mercury quite a few years ago.  They do contain zinc, cadmium, nickel, lithium, manganese and copper; however, most of these elements are found in the earth naturally.  There is little recoverable material in primary batteries to allow for their economically sustainable recycling.

Both the EPA, in an Enforcement Alert, and Duracell explain this point in greater detail.  Another good article can be found at Healthy Living.

Iowa State University has an excellent article telling us "It's OK to Throw Away Alkaline Batteries".  

Because of this, Creighton has made the decision to not send alkaline batteries for recycling.

However, if you feel strongly about this and would like to recycle alkaline batteries in your area, our hazardous waste contractor offers a solution; it costs approximately $100 for up to 50 pounds of these batteries.  Contact us for more information.

Your best bet, of course is to use items that don't require batteries.  The next best is to use rechargeable batteries and recycle them when they are finally spent.  The final choice would be to throw away your alkaline batteries when they are spent.