Recycling Old Car Batteries

If you have a car, then the chances are that you have got an old battery lying around somewhere. That old car battery that has been sitting in your garage for the past year is likely nearing the end of its lifespan. 

You may wonder what to do with it. So rather than letting it sit in your garage or shed for years to come, consider recycling it today and make something out of what might otherwise have been junk. 

This blog post will teach you everything about recycling your old car battery, including how to dispose of them properly.

Importance of Recycling Old Car Batteries

It is a sad truth that more than two million car batteries are thrown away each year. These discarded batteries can contain lead, mercury, and other toxic metals, which contaminate the groundwater and soil and may lead to serious long-term health consequences.

The importance of recycling old car batteries is highlighted by the fact that it is a far more environmentally-friendly process than simply dumping them.

The downside of recycling is the problematic process that battery smelters are exposed to lead and heavy metal emissions.

Recycling Centers For Old Batteries

Sending your old car batteries to a recycling center is the best option for you and is also good for the environment.

Recycling centers are typically located in cities or towns near where people live and work to make it convenient to recycle batteries locally rather than shipping them over long distances where the process of battery making may be more expensive.

It is an assurance that if you send your old car batteries to a recycling center, they will be recycled responsibly and not just discarded.

It is also crucial that you know the recycling center you choose is a legitimate one that will not send your old battery to an out-of-state landfill. You will also need to find out what the local laws are for recycling and then contact an ecosystem protection agency and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to get information about how your state handles battery disposal.

Be careful where you leave your old batteries too, do not put them near the open flames or furnaces. As a responsible battery user, you will want to take care not to touch any acid while handling used batteries to a recycling center.

There are certain types of centers that offer cash in return for the recycling process. But this does not apply to all recycling centers, so be sure to check first if you want to get cashback for your old battery.

Recycling Process

To some recycling centers, the process begins by sorting the batteries into chemistries types (lead-acid, nickel-cadmium [NiCd], and nickel-metal hydride [NiMH]). The three battery types are then separated based on weight: lead-acid weighs heavier than NiCd or NiMH because of its lead content.

The lead-acid batteries are then sent to a smelting plant, where they are heated until the lead is liquefied and can be used again in new battery cells.

The NiCd and NiMH types have their metal recycled by crushing them into tiny pieces of about one-inch square, which eventually become refined metal.

There are recycling centers that believe that almost every part of a battery is recyclable, meaning no matter what you do with your old one, it will still have some worth to other users.

For example, the plastic pieces are cleaned, blown dry, and will be sent to the plastic recycling companies. The lead is heated and purified before being poured into a molten ingot mold. The cooled mold will be returned to the manufacturers.

Old Car Batteries For Some Extra Cash Return

Recycling batteries can be a great way to make extra cash.

Most people only have one battery at a time, but you can make some extra cash if you find yourself with more than one. You can expect to get anywhere between $7-$15 per battery, depending on where it was taken to be recycled.

Some people collect old car batteries to make a profit as an additional source of income.

Places Where Old Batteries Are Exchanged For Cash

  • Some auto parts store is usually willing to buy an old battery for about $6-$8 per piece or exchange some discount on a new battery purchase.
  • The people in your neighborhood may be looking for an easy way to make a few extra bucks. They might take old batteries that you do not need and do something with them like recycling at another place or selling items they find inside the battery case. You will not get as much money from these folks, but it is still better than nothing.
  • You may want to try calling United Battery Company and inquire about their program about junk batteries which can give cash in return for an old battery.

When Old Batteries Are Not Properly Disposed

Proper disposal is essential because of the hazardous chemicals that are released into the environment when old batteries do not get recycled.

Old batteries thrown in the trash will rust and leak, contaminating the ground and water and even worse to the environment and even to humans.

It is essential to dispose of old batteries responsibly so that not only are you making a wise decision for environmental reasons but also because it can be hazardous to your health if these chemicals get into contact with water or food sources.

Batteries are a valuable resource that can be recycled. This is a way to make your mark on the environment and ensure that future generations will have access to the natural resources we use today.

There are many benefits of recycling these batteries, so if you have an old one in your garage, consider disposing of it properly.


The decision will be up to you whether or not you want to recycle your old car batteries and how much time and effort you are willing to put in beforehand. But remember that recycling is good for the environment and your health as well.

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to get rid of old batteries sometime soon, we recommend that you go back to this article and read up on ways to recycle your battery in the most efficient and proper manner.

About the author, Phil Borges

Phil Borges is a battery aficionado. He's written extensively about batteries, and he loves nothing more than discussing the latest innovations in the industry. He has a deep understanding of how batteries work, and he's always on the lookout for new ways to improve their performance.