Button Batteries Hazardous Waste See Alternatives Illegal in Garbage & Drains Contains Mercury Batteries must be disposed of as household hazardous waste. Household batteries both Alkaline and Lithium may be dropped off at the following City Facilities: City of Santa Cruz Public Works Dept. | 809 Center Street, Room 201 City of Santa Cruz Municipal Utilities Customer Service Office | 212 Locust Street City Hall | Locust Street parking lot, trash enclosure battery receptacle Louden Nelson Community Center | 301 Center Street Resource Recovery Facility | 605 Dimeo Lane Retail Locations: O’Reilly Auto Parts | 411 May Avenue Outdoor World | 136 River Street Find out what to do with household hazardous waste Never Throw in the Trash Button batteries sometimes contain mercury. Even if they don’t, they are banned from the trash because they contain other toxic and corrosive chemicals. Dispose of them as Household Hazardous Waste. Alternative Ways to Recycle Best Buy's Electronics and Appliances Recycling Program Best Buy will take back rechargeable batteries as well as the following: battery backups (ups), button batteries, cellphone batteries and laptop batteries. They do not accept single-use, car or other wet cell batteries. Find out more. The Battery Solutions Recycling Program Battery Solutions offers battery recycling kits and services to businesses, municipalities and residences. Their programs aim to help people recycle their batteries properly and conveniently. Learn more. The Big Green Box Battery Recycling Program The Big Green Box is a mail-in battery recycling program for both residences and businesses. Their system is simple: order a box, fill it up with your used batteries and then ship it back to the company’s EPA-approved recycling center. Learn more. Did You Know? Why Is Mercury Still in Batteries? Mercury is included in batteries for a reason: It’s used as a stabilizer and gives batteries a longer life. In 1996, the Mercury Containing and Rechargeable Battery Management Act prohibited the sale of mercury-oxide batteries in the U.S., except for select applications.