Billions of disposable alkaline batteries are thrown away in landfills every year. Many of these batteries contain harmful mercury and only a small percentage are safely disposed of or recycled. So when you need to use batteries, think rechargeable instead. Rechargeable batteries can be charged up to 1,000 times before they need to be pitched. Plus, there are more than 50,000 free recycling boxes in stores like Best Buy, Home Depot and Radio Shack to collect them when they need to be replaced.