Battery Recycling and Disposal
How should I properly dispose of old batteries – toss or recycle?
Proper disposal of old batteries depends on the kind of battery. It used to be that many single-use batteries contained mercury, a hazardous substance that can leech into groundwater from landfills and cause health problems. However, since 1996 manufacturers have been phasing out the use of mercury in alkaline batteries, so now there is no toxic metal in single-use batteries. Technically, you can just throw single-use batteries away in the trash as long as you place them in a plastic bag to help prevent acid leakage over time.
If you want to recycle single-use batteries, you can do so at local household hazardous waste facilities or with a mail-in program.
You MUST recycle rechargeable batteries – it’s the law in Minnesota! Luckily, you can do this basically anywhere: Home Depot, RadioShack, Best Buy, Target, Sears, Staples – odds are, if you are going to a business that sells rechargeable batteries, they probably take them back for recycling.