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Recycle Car Batteries

Updated on June 23, 2016

Can you recycle car batteries? Yes, but you have to know where to go. Car batteries are big, heavy, and full of nasty contaminants like heavy metals and acids. You can't chuck dead car batteries in the kitchen trash! But doing the right thing and recycling car batteries can be a pain. Read on for information on how to recycle your car battery.

Car Battery Recycling -- Tips and Suggestions

First things first -- get the old battery out of the car. This can be easy or nearly impossible, depending on what you drive. My Honda Accord had a battery that was essentially impossible to reach without some very specialized tools, none of which I had. Like me, you may need a mechanic to help you! But let's say you do get that sucker out and now you are standing there with bloody knuckles and a big, dirty, dead car battery in your hands. What now?

The next step is to find a recycling center where you live that will take your old battery. Many "regular" recycling facilities won't take complicated contaminants like the ones in your old car battery. In this article I've included some for a few of the larger US cities -- especially in California, which has pretty strict rules about what you can and can't recycle.


What If There's No Recycling Center?

If there's no recycling center, try your local repair shop. But try to find out what they intend to do with it once you walk out the door -- many repair shops will tell you they'll recycle your car battery, then turn around and simply chuck that battery in the nearest Dumpster. Obviously not cool.

If your battery is leaking, be careful! Battery acid is not very concentrated, but it will burn holes in clothes if you don't wash them right away.

There is also something called the AAA Great Battery Round Up. This is a one- day-only event in which you can get rid of all your old hazardous waste batteries, including car batteries. It is perfectly acceptable to keep that dead battery on the corner of the garage until the Great Battery Round up comes to town. It is usually held in conjunction with Earth Day.

A word of caution: according to authorities, you should be sure to wear gloves and safety glasses when handling batteries. Keep the battery upright in a secure, water-tight container that will not tip over while transporting it. This is especially important if the battery is leaking -- that stuff coming out is ACID, and will put holes in your clothing. And maybe you!

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Recycle Car Batteries in Houston

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More Car Battery Recycling Centers...

Obviously it's impossible to list all of the cities with car battery recycling facilities, but I hope you get the idea -- for every town, there's a place to take old car batteries. You can get that dirty old lump of toxins and heavy metals off your hands, AND be a good citizen in the process. Although rules vary from place to place, it's never okay to just dump your used car battery by the side of the road, or in the trash. It will eventually wind up in a landfill, and all of those nasty chemicals and acids and contaminants will soak into soil. Guess where they'll eventually wind up? That's tight -- coming right out of your own faucet. Don't drink battery acid! Recycle your used car battery at an official recycling facility, and we will all feel better knowing our water and soil is that much cleaner.

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