Recycle Scanner Batteries

Within the last few years, the only option available to the Postal Service was paying for the disposal of IMD scanner batteries (lithium-ion batteries). Currently, the Postal Ser­vice recycles these batteries under a contract with Global Investment Recovery that generates revenue at the same time without paying disposal costs. Recycling lithium-ion batteries through this contract will not only avoid approxi­mately $525,000 previously charged in recycling costs, but will generate approximately $23,000 in revenue per year. The Postal Service has more than 350,000 scanning devices being used within the Intelligent Mail Data Acquisi­tion System (IMDAS) with about 492,000 lithium-ion batter­ies in use or ready to be recycled.

If the battery contains any of the following words, it can be recycled under this contract:

n Lithium-ion.

n Lith-ion.

n Li-ion.

Lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable and they can be found in the following items: cell phones, laptops, cordless drills, digital cameras, video cameras, two-way radios, and scanners. (Caution: These items can use other types of bat­teries, so make certain it is a lithium-ion battery).

Follow these simple steps to recycle any lithium-ion battery:

Step 1: Ensure the batteries are “Lithium-ion” (rechargeable batteries). Batteries must state or show “Lithium-Ion” or the lithium-ion symbol.

Lithium Ion battery symbol

Step 2: Place tape over the battery terminals.

Step 3: Put up to three batteries in the box and use paper for packing. Reuse a box if possible.

Step 4: Copy mailing label information (see below) and highlight (in yellow) the rectangle “PACKAGE CON­TAINS.....”

mailing label

Step 5: Place a USPS Label 127, Surface Transportation Only, on the box.

Step 6: Mark all surfaces “PP” to indicate the package is Parcel Post. (Do not use Priority Mail® tape or boxes.)


What Can You Do?

Make sure your office is recycling lithium-ion batteries to ensure these items are not placed in the trash and are gen­erating revenue. For more information on this program, contact the Office of Sustainability via email at