Great question! Household or â€œdry-cellâ€ batteries no longer contain mercury, but this doesnâ€™t mean that they can be thrown away with your regular trash. To keep a batteryâ€™s heavy metals out of landfillsâ€”and potentially our ground water and soil, I prefer to save up my spent single-use or rechargeable batteries and bring them to a battery collection center.
Many manufacturers, retailers and community based sites collect batteries for safe recycling and/or disposal â€“ for example, in Chicago you can drop your alkaline batteries off at any Chicago Public Library or Walgreen location. Did you know that your local Sears is also a battery collection site? For other options, visit my new favorite website Earth911.com for a location thatâ€™s convenient for you.
Another idea, if you donâ€™t have the room to collect batteries long term in your house, ask your employer to consider a company sponsored battery collection. A battery collection service can be hired to drop off empty collection bins, and as soon as the office and employees have filled one, they can be called to pick up the full bin, and drop off a fresh clean bin. This makes battery recycling a snap!