Many people think that a car battery simply can be thrown into the trash along with all other household garbage.  Batteries manufactured for vehicles can be dangerous to the environment if disposed in this way.  They contain a significant amount of lead and other toxins. If these toxic chemicals have been leaked into the ground, the ground water will be contaminated and transported into drinking water supplies. Finally, this will harm the general people who will be using such water.

Legislations within cities and states mandate that car batteries must be appropriately recycled, and fines can be large if caught throwing a battery in your garbage bin.

Step 1

Once the battery is out of your vehicle, you need to take care in readying it for transportation.  Wear safety gear, such as glasses and gloves, to move the battery, placing it upright in a solid watertight container.  If the battery is leaking, you need to protect any surfaces in your mode of transport from the acid.

Step 2

Contact your local waste-recycling center to find out if they will accept batteries.  Try automotive shops as well.

Step 3

If your community does not have a waste-recycling center nearby, find an organization that performs waste pick-up services.  There may be an annual AAA Great Battery Roundup for Earth Day in your area, or a local chapter of Boy Scouts may be conducting a fundraising drive.  Whatever the organization, the battery will be properly recycled into new car batteries and money will go to well-deserving organizations.

Considerations

When looking for an organization that can pick up your battery, contact their offices to determine the exact dates and times for disposal. You may be permitted to drop off your bad battery ahead of time.

At home, you need to store the battery properly so that it does not damage surfaces.  Batteries can leak acid, which corrodes surfaces themselves.  Pets and young children who touch improperly stored batteries can become seriously ill.