Every year, Earth Day brings attention to things we all can do to make sure we leave a healthy planet for future generations. But, what are you doing the rest of the year? There are simple steps you can take to make a difference. Like your lead batteries, for example.
Due to the nature of their materials, the lead batteries that power your vehicles and equipment often get a bad rap when it comes to the environment. Regulations prohibit them from landfills and throwing them away in the regular trash is not an option. This isn’t a problem, however, because your lead acid battery is almost completely recyclable.
Say No To Landfills
When a battery is tossed into the regular trash, they end up in landfills. In the landfill, batteries will pollute the environment as toxic materials leak and seep into the soil. This is true for nearly all battery types from alkaline to lead to lithium ion. From there, they will make their way into our water supply and even run into the ocean. They can even create underground fires that burn for years and release toxic chemicals into the air.
Say Yes to Reuse
But, when a battery is recycled, they can be used, safely, over and over - and lead-acid batteries are the most commonly recycled battery. However, many battery technologies other than lead batteries cannot be safely recycled. Consumers should always contact their supplier before attempting to recycle a spent battery.
An old lead battery is broken apart using a hammer mill and those broken battery pieces are placed into a vat. In that vat, the heavy pieces fall to the bottom and the plastic pieces float. The liquid is drawn off and each of the different materials are sorted to be put to be reused. The plastic can be recycled into new battery cases and the sulfuric acid can be reused or made into fertilizer or other industrial materials.
How and Where?
So where can you take your battery for recycling? Well, where did you get it? Stores that sell new lead-acid batteries should take the old one and recycle it for you (nearly every state has a law that requires them to do so). So, just drop it off. If you're not sure where to take it you can also find where to dispose of car and other lead batteries on Earth 911.
Recycling your lead batteries isn't complicated and as long as you're doing it right, these versatile batteries pose no harm to the environment. So make the easy choice to keep your lead batteries out of landfills and use them to make new batteries.