Heather Kennedy/Flickr

There are lots of things we power with batteries these days, from interactive children's books that use tiny batteries, to toothbrushes that run on bigger batteries, to our mobile devices with their rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.

But when a battery's life ends, we're faced with the question of what to do with it. Right now, Austinites can drop off their used batteries at any of the city's library branches to be recycled. But what happens to those batteries after they're dropped off? 

Image courtesy D'Arcy Norman

That horrible stench you smell near garbage dumps? There's energy in those fumes!

Until fairly recently, the technology used to capture methane-rich biogas and turn it into electricity was not taken seriously as an industrial energy source. That's changing. And now the City of Austin is seeing if it should get on board.