Battery and Cell Phone Recycling Program

With its eye on the environment, Stony Brook University (SBU) has joined a national program called Call2Recycle™ to conveniently recycle used rechargeable batteries and old cell phones generated on Campus. This program will strengthen and enhance SBU's existing program by providing more convenient and safe disposal options to the Campus Community.

Read the SBU Press Release

Participating in this new program is easy - simply bring your spent/old/unwanted rechargeable batteries and/or old cell phones to any of the locations(in Adobe PDF format) on Campus where a Call2Recycle™ collection box (see image below) has been set up, follow the packaging instructions that are posted at each box location and on each box itself and you're done! It's that simple.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What types of rechargeable batteries can be recycled?
  2. Where can I recycle my used rechargeable batteries and old cell phones?
  3. Are there any safety guidelines that must be followed when dropping off my rechargeable batteries?
  4. Can alkaline (non-rechargeable) batteries be recycled?
  5. Does it matter if the cell phone is digital or analog? Do you take any brand of cell phone?
  6. What happens to the personal data on my cell phone after I recycle it?
  7. Can I still recycle my rechargeable battery if it does not have the original seal on it?
  8. How to obtain more collection boxes and how does the auto replenishment system work?
  9. How are the rechargeable batteries and cell phones recycled?
  10. Has Stony Brook University ensured that its retail locations are in compliance with the December 5, 2011 Battery Recycling Law?
What types of rechargeable batteries can be recycled?
If it's rechargeable, it's recyclable! The following rechargeable battery chemistries can be recycled - Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd), Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH), Lithium Ion (Li-ion), Nickel Zinc (Ni-Zn), and Small Sealed Lead Acid batteries weighing up to 11lbs/5kg per battery (Pb). Rechargeable batteries are commonly found in cordless power tools, cellular and cordless phones, laptop computers, digital cameras, two-way radios, camcorders, and remote control toys.
The Call2Recycle program does not accept alkaline, lithium, non-rechargeable, or wet-cell batteries.

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Where can I recycle my used rechargeable batteries and old cell phones?
Boxes are set up and will continue to be set up throughout Campus - for a list of such locations, please contact Environmental Health & Safety at (631) 632-6410 or click here.(in Adobe PDF format)

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Are there any safety guidelines that must be followed when dropping off my rechargeable batteries?
To minimize any safety risks, before dropping your rechargeable batteries or cell phones into the collection box, please place each individual rechargeable battery, or cell phone with battery, into a separate plastic bag (plastic bags can be obtained where each collection box is stored). If plastic bags are unavailable at the collection location, you can cover the battery terminals with tape (electrical, duct, or masking). Remember: ONE rechargeable battery or ONE cell phone with battery, per bag.

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Can alkaline (non-rechargeable) batteries be recycled?
Call2Recycle only recycles rechargeable, dry cell batteries. The good news though is that in 1996, U.S. legislation was signed that required alkaline manufacturers to phase out the use of mercury in their batteries. So, although your alkaline batteries can't be recycled through this program, those that were manufactured after 1996 pose little to no threat to human health or the environment and can therefore be disposed of to the regular garbage.

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Does it matter if the cell phone is digital or analog? Do you take any brand of cell phone?
Any cellular phone and cellular phone rechargeable batteries are accepted in the Call2Recycle program. Any size, make, model, age of phone, digital or analog, with or without battery or charger will be accepted. However, household cordless phones, mobile installed or bag phones, two-way radios and pagers cannot be included for recycling.
IMPORTANT: State employees should check with their departmental manager to determine if their State-issued cell phone(s) are eligible for this program. Due to contractual obligations, State-issued cell phones may have to be returned to the manufacturer/distributer.

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What happens to the personal data on my cell phone after I recycle it?
Personal data in the phones will be erased before they are resold. However, Call2Recycle encourages you to terminate your service and erase your personal data according to manufacturers' guidelines or consult your service provider before recycling.

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Can I still recycle my rechargeable battery if it does not have the original seal on it?
Yes. If it's rechargeable, it's recyclable! As long as it's a Ni-Cd, Ni-MH, Li-ion, Ni-Zn, or Pb rechargeable battery. Most batteries will have the chemistry listed on the battery pack.

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How to obtain more collection boxes and how does the auto replenishment system work?
Empty boxes will be provided by EH&S to pre-determined locations around Campus. When the full boxes are shipped via UPS to the recycling facility, the automatic replenishment system will generate an order to ship to Suffolk Hall, where EH&S personnel will inventory the box(es) and distribute to the building where the original box was generated. Please allow up to 3 weeks transit time for the return of your boxes to the recycling facility and the replenishment order delivered to your location. Remember to notify EH&S of any changes in storage location or contact information by calling (631) 632-3739 or email Jeffrey.carter@stonybrook.edu.

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How are the rechargeable batteries and cell phones recycled?
All the rechargeable batteries and cell phones collected through the Call2Recycle program are sent to the INMETCO recycling facility in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania for processing. The materials are separated by type. A thermal recovery process reclaims the reusable metals (nickel, iron, cadmium, lead, and cobalt) from the batteries and prepares them for use in new products such as new batteries and stainless steel. The process has been determined by the U.S. EPA to be BDAT (Best Demonstrated Available Technology) for reclaiming cadmium.
Cell phones are refurbished and resold when possible through Market Velocity. All of the rechargeable batteries from the collected cell phones are recycled at INMETCO. A portion of the proceeds received from the resale of phones benefit select charities, such as Boys & Girls Clubs of America and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in the United States; and Kids Help Phone in Canada. None of the reclaimed materials from the recycling process of rechargeable batteries and cell phones are sent to landfills (domestic or abroad).

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Has Stony Brook University ensured that its retail locations are in compliance with the December 5, 2011 Battery Recycling Law?
As of December 5, 2011, it is against the law for New Yorkers to knowingly dispose of rechargeable batteries in their regular garbage in the State. Therefore, New York retail locations, including those operating on campus, that sell rechargeable batteries (and equipment containing rechargeable batteries) are required to accept used batteries of the same type for recycling. By partnering with Call2Recycle, Stony Brook University has ensured compliance with this new law and has helped to keep our work environment and surrounding communities cleaner and healthier. View the list of retailers on campus participating in this program and the specific battery recycling locations.
New York State retailers and New York State residents interested in learning more about this law, please visit Call2Recycle's website

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