There are many types of consumer batteries, from the lead-acid batteries we use in our campus vehicles to the little batteries in your mouse. There are household batteries like AA, AAA, C, D and 9-volt, some of them rechargeable, some not. But whatever type of battery, they all have chemicals inside them.
Of course, chemicals are not all equally toxic. The three worst types are lead, cadmium and mercury. Other battery compounds like silver, zinc, and nickel can also be problems, but less so.
Sending any type of battery to the landfill means the contents of the battery will ultimately end up getting into the soil, groundwater, and/or surface water, and thus eventually into the food chain and drinking-water supply. The key thing is to make sure batteries with toxic components do not go to the landfill in the first place.
If you have spent batteries around your office or lab, gather them up, tape all terminals and store in a safe place, like in a yogurt or ice cream container until the next Memorial Battery Blitz. The Sustainability Office holds free battery recycling events twice a year on the St. John's campus. Date, time and location of the next Memorial Battery Blitz will be announced on Newsline and on this website. These events are for batteries purchased by Memorial only as the university has to pay for this service. Do not bring batteries from home. Your own personal batteries can be brought to the Household Hazardous Waste facility at the Robin Hood Bay landfill on Wednesdays and Saturdays between 8 am and 4 pm.