Disposal is an important task to learn not only to ensure the cleanliness of your household but also to be healthy. One of the things to be disposed of is an old car battery. If you have already changed your car battery, do not store it for a long time. Here’s a guide on how to properly dispose of a car battery.
Signs that you need to dispose of your car battery
A car battery’s life can last from 3 to 6 years. It powers all the functions that your car offers. However, just like everything else its use will deteriorate after some time.
- Car struggling to start. If it takes three or more attempts for your car to start, your battery may be running out of charge.
- Flickering/ dimming lights. Battery powers every function in your car. When the lights start flickering regularly or it continuously dim, it means that your battery can’t support these functions anymore.
- Dashboard warning light. Some cars have this feature. Be aware if it starts blinking.
- Corrosion. It is the result of metals interacting with water or with acids. When you notice that the battery has already corroded, be careful in handling them.
Where do you dispose of an old car battery?
Leaving your old car batteries in your garages or gardens is the most common thing to do. But there are establishments made for handling these toxic chemicals. Here are some of them to give you an idea.
- Battery recycling facilities – there are facilities that can handle the poisonous lead and sulfuric acid components properly.
- Metal recycling establishments. Recycling the metals will minimize the damage of this naturally occurring toxic metal.
- Retailers. When you buy a new one, you can take that old battery of yours to the store and let them dispose of it for you. There are some retailers that charge a fee when you give it to them. While there are others who would compensate you for every old car battery you bring.
How do you dispose of an old car battery?
Disposing of your old car battery along with other trash is not encouraged. Because car batteries are made up of lead and sulfuric acid. These chemicals when left on the ground will in time leak causing harm to people and the environment.
- First, wear safety equipment when handling your old car battery. Avoid direct contact with the battery acid. Use protective goggles, gloves, and a suit (if available).
- Make sure that your car engine is off to properly locate the battery. Certainly, the heat from the car will not help you to properly handle things and finally locate your battery.
- Disconnect the cable from the negative terminal, then from the positive terminal. Remove all the clips, straps, or anything that holds the battery.
- Carefully remove it from the engine. Do not move the battery so much because there might be holes you haven’t seen. Because leaks may start here.
- Do not let any metal tool touch the positive and negative terminals of the battery simultaneously. It may trigger an explosion.
- Afterwards, check if there are dents, punctures, or leaks on the battery. The physical state of the battery indicates the state of the battery as a whole too.
Why is it important to dispose of it properly?
Car batteries contain lead and sulfuric acid. Contains 18 pounds of lead and a gallon of contaminated sulfuric acid. Lead is a poisonous metal naturally occurring on the planet. Used in the industries of mining, smelting, manufacturing, construction, and aviation. Usually, lead is used in making paints, stained glass, crystal glassware, ammunition, jewelry, toys, some cosmetics, and even traditional medicines. Ingestion and exposure to lead can lead to brain damage causing coma, convulsions, and even death. Exposing kids to lead can impede their brain’s development and behavior. Exposure to lead will determine the severity of the health damage one will suffer.
Meanwhile, sulfuric acid is a very strong and corrosive acid. Used in fertilizers, pigments, dyes, explosives, detergents, and petroleum refining materials. Considered a carcinogen, it can cause skin burns, and irritation to the nose, throat, and lungs, and may even lead to death in some cases.
Aside from the health hazards, humans can acquire from mere exposure to lead and sulfuric acid, the environment also suffers from these toxic chemicals. When these chemicals leak, they can pollute the soil. Contaminating the groundwater, our source, will expose us to a myriad of health hazards.
Proper battery disposal is beneficial not only for your household but also for the environment. Practice proper disposal and take part in taking care of our environment. Visit our website for more articles related to car batteries.