According to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, single-use Alkaline batteries AAA, AA, C, D 6v & 9v are classified as "non-hazardous" and may be safely disposed with household trash.
Lithium Primary and rechargeable Nickel Cadmium (NiCd), Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMh), and Lithium-Ion batteries contain mercury and other heavy metals and according to the IEPA, should be recycled.
Because single-use Alkaline and Lithium batteries look amazingly similar, the best way to know is to read the label. Always place individual Lithium batteries in a plastic zip baggie, wrap it in plastic film or tape the terminal end with duct or electrical tape before recycling or disposing in the garbage to eliminate the risk of sparking a fire.
Call2Recycle partners with retail stores such as Best Buy, Home Depot and Lowes that accept lithium primary and rechargeable batteries only – NO alkaline batteries! Go to call2recycle.org/locator to find a location and for more information.