Common hazardous ingredients
Cadmium, corrosive electrolytes, lead, mercury, silver (mercury batteries are no longer commercially available).
Batteries can explode when heated or burned. Chemicals released due to battery leakage or explosion can cause internal or external irritation or burns. Environmental pollution of air and water from the release of toxic heavy metals when incinerated or disposed of in unlined landfills.
Store all household batteries out of reach of children and pets and away from sources of heat.
Common household alkaline and carbon-zinc batteries
Best: Take to a hazardous waste facility or collection event.
Second best: Throw them in the garbage. Regular AA, AAA, C and D batteries are no longer manufactured with mercury, but other batteries still release toxic heavy metals that pollute air and water.
Nickel cadmium, mercury-oxide and silver-oxide button batteries
Best: Recycle. Many stores that sell rechargeable nickel cadmium batteries will take them back for recycling. Mercury-oxide and silver-oxide button batteries are sometimes collected by jewelers, pharmacies, hospitals and hearing aid stores for shipping to companies that reclaim the metals.
Second best: Take to a hazardous waste facility or collection event.
Never throw nickel cadmium, mercury-oxide and silver-oxide button batteries in the garbage.
For more details on battery disposal options, search Metro's online directory.
- Buy rechargeable batteries.
- Consider alternatives to battery-operated products.