Most people will simply throw old, used batteries in the trash can. However, this is not the safe way to get rid of batteries. In fact, this habit wreaks havoc on the environment. The chemicals in the batteries can leak and seep into the environment. There is a “proper” way to get rid of them.
Old batteries should be removed from the appliance or gadget and then placed in a box or resealable plastic bag. Never put it in a pocket or purse where it may accidentally be ruptured.
Never store old batteries together. Some of them may contain a minute amount of charge, and if these batteries come into contact and clash against each other, they may ignite. Store in separate plastic bags. It is also dangerous to try to squeeze that last amount of energy left by mixing an old battery with new ones. The old battery may leak, and damage the item.
Due to this possibility of leaking and causing fires, batteries are classified as hazardous household waste. So instead of throwing them out with the rest of the trash, wait for your city’s hazardous waste pick-up or drop-off day. This information can usually be found in websites or the newspaper. Automative stores also accept batteries.
In general, certain types of batteries—lithium, mercuric, oxide, nickel-cadmium, nickel metal hydride and silver oxide—are considered to be more dangerous. These are usually used in cell phones and other rechargeable gadgets. Alkaline batteries are much safer to be thrown away with the rest of the trash, but it is still better to be cautious.