Changing and replacing a car battery is common knowledge for most adults, however, knowing what to do with the used battery once its removed is not. There are several constituents inside a car battery that allows it to cooperate and function within vehicles. These same components are mostly chemical-based, and can be tremendously hazardous in various aspects.
Continue reading to learn how to properly get rid of a used car battery, and why safe battery disposal is so important to us and our surrounding environment.
Inside a Car Battery
Car batteries contain several dangerous chemicals, materials, and heavy metals. For instance, a standard 12 volt car battery contains elements such as lead, plastic, sulfuric acid, and more. Diesel engine vehicles, like semi-trucks and tractors, may use a 24 volt system; requiring the use of two 12 volt batteries to operate. This means double the toxins, chemicals, and heavy metals. These 12 volt car batteries are made with lead plates and lead dioxide plates. These plates are submerged in an electrolyte solution made up of sulfuric acid and water. The chemical reaction of the two elements creates electrons that let them pass through conductors, running electricity to the vehicle’s engine and inner components.
When a battery begins to lose its power, it is because the acid within the electrolyte solution has reacted with the plates, changing them from lead and lead dioxide, to lead sulfate. When a car battery is recharged, this same process is simply reversed. All these chemicals that make a vehicle’s battery function have proven useful in the automotive world, but they still need to be handled responsibility to protect ourselves and the environment from harm. One of the best ways to do this is by recycling used car batteries. It is the best and most responsible method to car battery disposal.
What Can Happen if You Do it Wrong
Now that we know what’s inside a car battery that makes it so toxic and dangerous, we can begin to discuss how these chemicals can affect our homes, health, and surroundings. Improper battery disposal can lead to chemical outflows that will contaminate the air, water, and soil. This is why vehicular batteries are classified as hazardous waste. Not only can irresponsible disposal harm the Earth, it can be detrimental to our health as well.
This is why it is vital to wear gloves and safety goggles while handling car batteries; new or used. If relocating them, be sure they are in an upright standing position to prevent seepage during transportation. Ingestion of any of the chemicals can be very dangerous. If you come into contact with any inner component of a vehicular battery, it is advised to wash your hands immediately. If a child or pet touches these chemicals, it is important to wash them right away as well.
Batteries Can Be Recycled
One unique aspect of automotive batteries is that they are almost completely recyclable. This means that nearly all of a battery’s components can be recycled and reused for new car batteries. For example, the lead is virtually one hundred percent recyclable; and can be melted down, filtered, and refurbished in new car parts. The plastic components are also completely recyclable and can be reused in other products. Surprisingly, the sulfuric acid can even be reused. It can be counteracted and purified to be released as uncontaminated water, converted into sodium sulfate (for fertilizers, dyes, etc.), or reused in new car batteries.
Where to Recycle a Used Car Battery in Indianapolis, Indiana
Call Garden City Iron & Metal at 1-888-586-5322 to safely drop off your used automotive battery in Indianapolis, Indiana. Not only do we adhere to all EPA guidelines for metal recycling, we pay cash on the spot for car parts and much more! Collect all the scrap metal you can, and then sell it to our Indianapolis metal recycling pros for the highest profit in town! Request a free estimate or information, today.