All car batteries eventually will wear out and need to be disposed of. Unlike most products, you cannot simply throw away these types of batteries. The reason for this is that a 12 volt car battery contains many hazardous chemicals and materials. There are also many environmental safety concerns associated with the disposal of these batteries. There are actually several ways to properly dispose of car batteries.
The most unique part of recycling batteries is that all of the elements can be reclaimed and reused in new car batteries. The lead in these batteries is almost 100% recyclable. The plastic components of these batteries can also be recycled and used in future products as well. The sulfuric acid found in these batteries can be recycled and used in a number of different ways. For example it can be used in new car batteries, neutralized and then purified to be released as clean water, or it can also be turned into sodium sulfate. When turned to sodium sulfate it can be used in such products as fertilizer and dyes.
In most standard car batteries heavy metals are found such as lead as well as plastic and acid. This is why if they are not properly disposed they can contaminate the air, water and soil of our planet. Also it does not matter if the battery is a 6 or 12 volt; both are classified as hazardous waste and need to be disposed of properly. With newer Hybrid cars NiMH batteries are used rather than traditional lead batteries. Although these batteries do not contain lead they still contain toxic components and need to be disposed of properly as well.
It is also important to handle these used batteries correctly, because they can be harmful to your health. Individuals should wear gloves as well as safety glasses when holding these batteries. When transporting the battery it should be placed upright in a position that is not going to tip over while moving.
When disposing your car battery you do have more than one option. Most recycling centers accept car batteries, but it is in your best interest to call ahead to confirm this. The AAA Great Battery Round Up has become a well known place to dispose of your batteries. The event is usually held in association with Earth Day and involves AAA offices setting up a collection area for you to bring your used batteries to be discarded. Most automotive repair shops also accept used car batteries as well. Now that you know a little more about car battery disposal, make sure you take the legal and environmentally safe route when you dispose of your used car batteries.