I tried keeping batteries and getting them recycled for a long time. Lead and mercury were the problem (I was using the Power One batteries...they have sinced released a Mercury free formulation). I now use Costco batteries, which to my knowledge are essentially the same as RayoVac (aka: Mercury free). Most Radio Shacks won't take batteries to recycle anymore, I've asked at several in my area, no success. Your City should have a battery drop off plan. But honestly, as long as you are using Lead and Mercury free batteries, which are the standard now, throwing them in the trash is the accepted practice in most communities. Without the heavy metals these batteries can be treated like alkaline batteries (trash 'em).