Disposing of General Purpose and Alkaline Batteries: Alkaline batteries can be safely disposed of with normal household waste. Due to concerns about mercury in the municipal solid waste stream, manufacturers have voluntarily eliminated all of the added mercury from alkaline batteries since 1993. Alkaline batteries are composed primarily of common metals such as steel, zinc, and manganese and as such, do not pose a health or environmental risk during normal use or disposal. It is important not to dispose of large amounts of alkaline batteries in a group. Used batteries are often not completely "dead." Grouping used batteries together can bring these "live" batteries into contact with one another, creating safety risks. Proven cost-effective and environmentally safe recycling processes are not yet universally available for alkaline batteries.
Recycling Batteries with Other Chemistries: Due to the chemicals in them, you should recycle rechargeable, lithium, lithium ion, and zinc air batteries. In addition to “traditional” rechargeable batteries like AAs or AAAs, rechargeable batteries like the ones found in everyday household items such as cameras, cell phones, laptops, and power tools should also be recycled. Look for the battery recycling seals on rechargeable batteries. These types of batteries can be brought to the Department of Public Works (DPW) or Home Depot for disposal.