Jeffrey B. Banke / Shutterstock.com Batteries (Single-Use) Illegal in Garbage, Recycling & Drains Hazardous Waste Jeffrey B. Banke / Shutterstock.com Never Throw in the Trash Batteries are banned from the trash because they contain metals and other toxic and corrosive chemicals that can leach into the environment. All batteries, including sizes AAA, AA, C, and D, need to be disposed of as Household Hazardous Waste. Ways to Reduce Buy Rechargeable Batteries Most single-use batteries can be replaced by rechargeable ones. Consider switching batteries so you can reduce how much hazardous waste you generate. Today’s rechargeable batteries are even made to have the same battery life as single-use ones. Conserve Battery Life Turn off battery-powered devices when not in use and avoid exposing electronics to cold conditions to get as much use possible from batteries. Did You Know? Battery Explodes in Garbage Truck One battery recently caused an explosion in a UK garbage truck, starting a fire and contaminating over six tons of recycling. Because batteries contain chemicals that can ignite, it is important to dispose of them correctly, and not just toss them in with other trash or recycling. Battery Technology Innovations “A battery will do for the electricity supply chain what refrigeration did to our food supply chain,” said MIT electrochemist Donald Sadoway in a Grist article. Sadoway and his peers are developing new battery technology using materials such as molten metal and saltwater. The energy storage capacity of these technologies could lead to a new era for electric cars and the electricity grid.