How to Dispose of Car Batteries Safely in February 2024
If you are wondering how to dispose of car batteries, there are a few ways to do it safely. It is important to note you cannot take them to landfill in the UK without filling in lengthy amounts of paperwork. Halfords accept them though, so visiting your local Halfords store maybe your best bet! Alternatively, you can return them to your auto supply store or service station. Remember that it is illegal to dispose of your battery improperly, so follow the rules, this is also important for the protection of our planet and human health.
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|Differences in battery types
- current state-of-the-art design
- easy to keep stable at all temperatures
- use a glass mesh and work like wet cell batteries
- most common in camping and boating
- features a sophisticated valve design
- all the benefits of a fluid electrolyte
- reduces spilling (allows the battery to be positioned in any direction)
- good for various driving needs.
Car Batteries May Contain Lead
When disposing of your old car batteries, ensure you do so safely. Lead is one of the most toxic heavy metals and can easily contaminate groundwater and soil if not disposed of properly. It can also be dangerous for children, as lead poisoning can result in behavioural and learning problems. The good news is that most batteries can be recycled and used again.
99 per cent of all car batteries are recycled to make new ones. Lead is especially harmful to young children, who are most susceptible to lead poisoning. Even small amounts of lead can cause profound and long-term effects. Even in adults, lead exposure can increase the risk of high blood pressure and kidney damage. It can also lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, and premature birth. Children can also be exposed to lead through drinking water from pipes made of lead solder.
The use of lead in batteries is becoming a global problem. The global demand for lead has increased tenfold in the last decade, and its consumption is closely linked to the growth of the automobile industry. At the same time, renewable energy is putting pressure on the world’s supply of batteries.
There are many types of car batteries, including alkaline and zinc-carbon ones. Alkaline batteries are the most common, and they are often single-use. They are considered non-hazardous waste, which means they are safe for household disposal. Zinc-carbon car batteries are not. The easiest way to dispose of alkaline and zinc-carbon batteries is to take them to a local recycling centre.
Alternatively, you can take them to a Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event, where recycling companies take them for free. Before throwing them out, cover the terminals with non-conductive tape to prevent any unwanted reactions. While disposing of your old car batteries, remember that alkaline and zinc-carbon car batteries pose a choking hazard to children.
Zinc-carbon car batteries are made up of zinc chloride and manganese dioxide. They also contain an electrolyte, usually potassium hydroxide or ammonium chloride. Before, batteries were made with mercury to prevent corrosion, but recent laws have restricted the amount of mercury added to them. Today, alkaline and zinc-carbon batteries have zero added mercury, making them safe for disposal.
Some other things to consider when disposing of car batteries are:
- Ensure all used car batteries are placed into a suitable container or bin
- Only organise the collection of your old car batteries by a licensed carrier.
- Keep the battery upright at all times
- Be careful of the weight of the battery when carrying it
- Always disconnect the negative cable first and reconnect it last.
- Disconnect all batteries before inspecting them
- Wear latex gloves while working with batteries, as battery acid and powder can be hazardous.
- Keep an eye out for batteries covered in white powder or rusty crust, which could indicate the presence of chemicals.
There are several ways to do so safely when it comes to disposing of car batteries. First, remember to separate the batteries according to their type. It would help if you also took special care to identify unknown batteries and put them in separate containers for disposal. If you can’t figure out what type they are, you can ask a professional for help. Companies such as Business Waste UK offer specialised services collecting car batteries.
Scrap metal dealers
When disposing of car batteries, there are several options. Depending on your state, you can drop them off at an auto-parts store that accepts batteries or take them to a battery recycling facility. It is important to note that some battery recycling centres require you to remove the clamps first. Some companies even give gift cards for old batteries. Nevertheless, you should know that you may have to do it with two wrenches.
Most car batteries have three to four years of life, and older batteries should be disposed of safely. Fortunately, most battery vendors will accept the battery core in exchange for a new one. However, this doesn’t mean that you should leave old batteries on your garage floor or shelf.
Proper disposal is essential to protecting the environment and your health. If you have a battery that is too old to be recycled, you can visit a municipal hazardous-chemical drop-off. These centres are designed to handle household waste, including batteries. Batteries may also be accepted at auto parts stores, where you may receive a store voucher for your old battery.
Car Batteries – Learn more about UK business waste statistics here
Car Batteries – Other useful links from our Commercial Waste Centre
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Costs of Gallery and Museum Waste Management 2022
A Guide to WEEE Recycling, Costs and Alternatives in the UK
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