Alkaline battery recycling is an excellent idea. It behoves you to recycle these batteries because there is a lot of valuable materials involved in their construction. It is also not very difficult to recycle them. Here is what recycling factories get out of the batteries when consumers like yourself choose to recycle them.
The casing of most alkaline batteries is steel. New steel can be made and forged, but recycling old steel reduces the need to make new steel. Reducing the need to make new steel also reduces the amount of heat, energy, water, wastewater, and waste product created when new steel is made. Ergo, recycling the steel casings from old batteries is a very "green" and eco-responsible thing to do.
Zinc is a metal, but it is also a mineral. Humans need zinc in small quantities to survive. Zinc recycling from batteries can be used in the production of other zinc products, and/or to produce a mineral supplement for humans and animals. After it has been pulled from batteries, it goes through a rigorous purification process that allows companies to use the zinc in lots of other products, including daily vitamins or in animal foods. Zinc is also recycled to make metal products with electrical conductivity.
Sometimes battery acid can be recycled, but it is more important to recycle the battery acid to prevent it from entering the environment as a waste product. The acid has a way of corroding a lot of things it touches, and it can create conditions in the soil that are not wholly conducive to plant growth. By recycling the batteries, you are removing the potential for battery acid to become part of soil and water, both of which are responsible for creating food and sustaining life, and both of which would be ruined by alkaline battery acid.
Far too many consumers just chuck dead batteries into their garbage cans. Then the garbage goes to a landfill, clogs up the landfill because steel and battery acids do not decompose, and you have mountains of toxic trash. Recycling batteries lessen the toxic trash in a landfill, and it leaves room for things that can biodegrade without hurting the environment in the way that alkaline battery acid can. Better still, recycled batteries can be made into more batteries that you can buy and use for all the things you own that need batteries.