Yes. Alkaline batteries are classified as non-hazardous waste. They can be thrown in the normal trash (except in California). Throwing other types of batteries into the trash, however, will put them eventually either into a landfill or into an incinerator. In either case they can potentially leak their chemical contents into the environment. These chemicals (including mercury, lead cadmium and nickel) can be very harmful to the environment.
Most battery companies recommend disposing of Alkaline batteries with normal household waste, but there are a few places that would recycle alkaline batteries. However, you should not be throwing away batteries before getting the full use out of them.
It is not environmentally friendly to throw any batteries into the trash for several reasons. First of all, batteries contain heavy metals that can leach out and pollute the surrounding land and water. In addition, there is a huge amount of embodied energy in each battery manufactured. By throwing them away, this energy is lost forever, and the limited supply of the resources to make them is lost in the landfill. For this reason, new programs to recycle all batteries, including dry cell alkaline batteries are being implemented (in California for example).
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