Battery contents are toxic to the environment when not disposed of properly and yet many people toss them anyway. Over half of UK adults admitted to throwing batteries away in a recent poll, urging high street retailers to encourage recycling instead.
Unlike household batteries, lead-acid batteries require certain precautions when recycling them. But you’re making a positive environmental impact by recycling these batteries. Instead of filling landfills, recycled batteries get reused for a purpose.
Do you want to dispose of your old car batteries but you don’t know where to start? We tell you how to safely pack your batteries and where to take them in this detailed guide.
What Are Lead-Acid Batteries?
Toxic lead-acid batteries damage the environment, creating leaks and other hazards. Because of this, most scrap car batteries get recycled. Other than powering cars, lead batteries also power golf carts, buses, and boats.
These batteries contain sulfuric acid and lead plates with a plastic exterior. The plastic and lead are both recycled, and the sulfuric acid is either neutralized or processed.
About 80 percent of the plastic and lead in new batteries comes from recycled batteries.
So how do you offload your old car battery? The first step is to prepare it for transportation.
Storing and Transporting Batteries
It’s important to follow safety guidelines when taking your batteries to a recycling centre or scrap yard. If handled the wrong way, these batteries could break open and leak acid. But you can prevent any accidents by taking a few precautions.
Look for the Right Symbol
Lead batteries have an extremely high recycling rate. In Europe and the USA, the rate of lead battery recycling is more than 95 percent.
Lead batteries have a little symbol on the outside indicating they are safe to recycle. Pb or PB is the periodic symbol for lead. Sometimes, batteries also have a recycling symbol stating that the battery is safe to recycle.
Keep the Terminals Facing Upwards
When transporting batteries, make sure the terminals are facing up. This helps to prevent any shorts or fires.
Be sure to store batteries in a plastic container and line the inside with cardboard.
If you plan on stacking batteries, always place a barrier between two batteries so that they don’t touch one another. Place a few layers of cardboard between them for safe transportation.
Secure Batteries with Shrink Wrap
To prevent batteries from tipping and falling over while transporting them, we recommend using shrink wrap. This helps protect the batteries and keeps them from breaking during travel. It also helps keep the cardboard in place if you have stacks of batteries.
Bringing Batteries to a Recycling Centre
Before you pack up your batteries and take them to a recycling centre, make sure they will take your scrap batteries first. Not all centres accept them.
Some yards and recycling centres will pay you for your batteries, but the price may vary depending on the market.
Why would anyone pay you for your old battery? Some places do this to help save the environment. These facilities also repurpose and resell the parts.
Many people look for affordable OEM car parts to save money on replacement parts. Scrap battery buyers that sell these parts are often more than happy to recycle your old battery.
Recycling centres and scrap yards may or may not pay you for your batteries. Some auto repair shops charge a fee to take your battery while others will take it off your hands but they won’t offer you any money back. So call ahead or check for their policy first.
Getting Money for Your Old Batteries
Believe it or not, you can get paid for your old battery. If you have an old car battery or even old motorcycle or ATV batteries, they might be collecting dust in your garage. Maybe you procrastinated on getting rid of your old batteries because you didn’t know how to recycle them.
But did you know that you can get money for those batteries?
Even selling dead batteries is an easy way to get a little extra cash or store credit, depending on where you take them.
Auto Parts Stores
Some auto parts stores offer you credit for your battery if you’re buying a new one at the same time.
Most stores offer a credit on the purchase of your new battery which offsets the cost. The downside to this method is that some stores do charge a small fee to recycle your battery.
If you’re not buying a new battery, you may get store credit for future purchases. Always call ahead to ask about their policy before transporting your batteries.
Your local scrap yard buys used batteries to recycle and reuse the parts. The amount you receive depends on the price of lead scrap on the market. This number fluctuates, so you may want to wait or take advantage of the market while you have the chance.
Don’t expect to earn much unless you have multiple batteries to sell. In most cases, the more you have the better the price for your scrap.
Arguably the best place to sell your used batteries is a recycling centre that resells salvaged vehicles and parts. These parts are more affordable because of their competitive pricing. People looking for vehicles or parts on a budget rely on centres like these to find great deals.
Batteries are one of the best parts to buy from salvage vehicles since new batteries are expensive.
By dropping off your used batteries at a centre that resells parts, your old battery gets reused and you have peace of mind.
Benefits of Recycling Your Old Car Batteries
By recycling your car batteries instead of tossing them in the trash, you’re helping to prevent toxic waste buildup in landfills.
The proper disposal of lead-acid batteries is important to prevent shorts and fires. But you can rest easy knowing your battery is being reused in a responsible and safe manner by recycling it.
Follow these tips and guidelines to ensure a successful recycling experience.
Are you ready to offload your scrap batteries or other car parts? Contact us with any questions you might have.