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How to Recycle Car Batteries

How to Recycle Car Batteries

While car batteries are extremely toxic, around 95% of a car battery is recyclable

Most of us have little idea of what to do with a used car battery. Councils will take car batteries at transfer stations under their hazardous waste programs. Often you can drop them off for free.

Your local mechanic and most insurance companies will recycle your old battery when they replace it with a new one.  

If you change your own car batteries, make sure you see if your your local mechanic or auto service centre will take it for you. 

Never put car batteries in household garbage as they can contaminate ground water, organic compost, and increase costs to households as consumers are charged by councils for their decontamination.

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Science Notes

Used Lead Acid Batteries contain lead compounds, sulphuric acid and polypropylene (plastic). When a battery is recycled, these three components become:

  • Lead Ingots. Most lead is reused in new batteries.
  • Plastic cases are crushed and turned into pellets and then new battery covers and cases.
  • Sulphuric Acid is treated in a couple of ways and ends up either being sold for use in textiles, glass or detergent manufacturers or reused in a new battery. 
Related Tip

If you have left lights or electronics inside the car overnight, there is a good chance that you have flatten your battery. It is a good practice to take a second look at your car before you walk away.