Everyday common non-rechargeable batteries (i.e. AA, AAA, C, D) can be disposed of in the regular trash. This is because most manufacturers have reformulated the batteries to not include heavy metals like mercury. The removal of these metals from the batteries means that they no longer contain any items classified as hazardous by the Environmental Protection Agency. It is important to remember to not dispose of large quantities of batteries together, as even dead batteries may still hold partial charges. If the batteries make contact they may produce a safety risk.
But what about rechargeable batteries? Due to their chemical makeup, rechargeable batteries cannot be disposed of in the regular trash. For the nearest recyclers of rechargeable and cell phone batteries, visit the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation and use their quick and easy search tool.