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Why Proper Battery Disposal is So Important

Improper disposal of automotive batteries can wreak havoc on our landfills. For instance, lead-acid batteries can contain about a gallon of corrosive acid and up to 18 pounds of lead.  

Putting the wrong type of battery into the trash means you’re sending hazardous waste into our landfills. Much like when you are junking a car, poor or illegal waste management results in contamination of our soil and groundwater and can cause a variety of health problems. 

Here’s what you need to know about proper battery disposal, including where to take your batteries and why it’s vital to do so. 

Battery Disposal Contributes to Air and Water Pollution

Improper disposal of certain batteries, including your car battery, means that it winds up in our landfills. Over time, these depleted batteries will corrode and leak. 

Certain laws are in place to keep our environment clean and to reduce air and water pollution. When chemicals from batteries leak, they wind up in our soil, groundwater, and surface water. This waste is toxic to our plants and animals. 

Landfills also cause air pollution by releasing toxic gases. Fumes from batteries are full of harsh chemicals and contain traces of lead, which can result in breathing difficulties. 

Improper Disposal is Illegal

States have strict laws in place to protect the environment and its residents. In Florida, it’s illegal to dispose of nickel-cadmium or lead-acid rechargeable batteries or any products that contain these products in the trash. People must have the batteries recycled or sent to a facility for proper disposal. 

Manufacturers and distributors must also follow these laws. Failure to do so can result in a minimum fine of $100 per violation

It Causes Health Effects

The strong corrosive acid inside of a car battery can cause many negative physical effects. Touching the battery can result in chemical burns at the point of exposure. The effects may be as mild as minor irritation or serious enough to cause tissue damage.

These burns can occur any time a battery has corroded or burst open. 

Getting the chemicals in your eyes is even more dangerous, as it can cause eye damage, loss of vision, or even permanent blindness. 

Individuals don’t have to touch a battery to suffer negative health effects. Breathing in the fumes can cause nose and throat irritation, coughing, shortness of breath, and a build-up of fluid in the lungs with prolonged exposure. 

In addition, toxic metals like cadmium and nickel, both found in batteries, are human carcinogens. Exposure to these metals can cause cancer

Pregnant women and young children are especially at risk. The lead contained within a battery is highly toxic and can affect a child’s growth. Exposure to lead can cause brain and nervous system damage, learning and behavior problems, slowed development and growth, and speech and hearing problems. 

Adults that encounter lead at work or are exposed to it can unknowingly bring it home on their clothes. 

It’s Simple to Recycle Batteries

It’s easier to recycle old batteries that you can’t toss than you might think.

Car batteries typically have a life of around 3-4 years. After that time, they begin to degrade and wear out. One day, you might get in your car and find yourself with a dead battery or one that just can’t hold a charge. 

Often, replacing the old battery with a new one is as simple as bringing it to a facility that sells batteries. Auto parts stores will usually do this. Sometimes, you’ll even get paid for the old battery, especially since the lead is quite valuable.  

Almost 90% of lead-acid batteries are recycled. Reclaimers crush the batteries into small pieces and separate the components. Plastic is reused in new products, and the purified lead is sent to battery manufacturers. 

Other places to recycle an old car battery include any municipality with a hazardous chemical pickup and drop-off location. Metal recycling facilities will also pay you for batteries. 

Should You Junk Your Car? 

In some cases, it may be best to junk your entire car. If your car doesn’t run, it’s too dangerous to drive, or it’s costing you too much money to maintain, it might be time to consider junking your car. 

Leaving an old vehicle around untouched can result in chemical leaks, which seep into our soil and groundwater. It’s also the perfect place for rodents and critters to make their homes, which presents a whole new set of health concerns. 

Plus, leaving a junk car in your yard negatively affects your curb appeal and property value. It can also annoy your neighbors, straining relationships and causing problems. 

You may have considered dismantling and recycling parts of an old car yourself. However, it’s often more convenient to sell your old car, battery and all, at the same time. Another bonus of using this method is that the vehicle is hauled away, giving you more space and taking that burden off your hands quickly and efficiently. 

You can rest easy knowing that by selling it to a reputable company that specializes in collecting junk cars, the parts of the vehicle will be separated and recycled in an environmentally conscious way. 

Time to Recycle That Battery

Now you know a bit more about the importance of recycling and proper battery disposal. Improper disposal of any type of battery, especially a car battery, is bad for our health and our environment. 

If it’s time to junk your car as well as recycle your battery, you can count on All Car Buys. We’ll purchase your car at a fair cash price, regardless of whether it runs or not. Contact us to get a quote and to find out how much your vehicle is worth today.