What happens to all the weather balloons?

It seems to me that dozens if not hundreds of weather balloons are released daily around the globe to gather information.

These balloons are packed with weather gathering instruments and set loose to drift with the winds gathering weather information to relay back to base.

What happens to all these balloons with their expensive scientific instruments? Do they get retrieved, How? or is the globe being littered with dead balloons?

According to Wikipedia:

So I wonder what happens to the instrument package. Obviously it falls to earth but does it ever hit anyone?

Just answered my own question.

From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

They also have a a postage guaranteed thing on them so you can just drop them in a mailbox and they’ll find their way back.

UFOs are real. It’s weather balloons that don’t exist.

I found one once, and returned the instrument package in the postage paid envelope that was included.

Son-of-a-meteorologist (retired early-1990s) here. At least at Cape Canaveral AFS, one balloon was released each day (sometimes more, if additional readings were needed). There was never an expectation of getting back the instrumentation. It is common for someone to find the fallen packages, with their light bulb and whizzing timer motor, and call their local police (and probably even more-so now).

I don’t know if they still release as many balloons as they used to.

Dad was also heavily involved with the various Loki rockets.

There’s a project here where undergrads launch balloons with various sensor packages on them, and they always try to retrieve them (some of the data isn’t telemetried down, and some of the components are reusable for other flights). But occasionally they lose track of it, or can’t get permission to go onto the land where it fell, and those aren’t considered a big deal. In any event the balloon itself isn’t reusable.