Proper car battery disposal isn't just a good idea, it's the law in many communities. You probably already know it's not okay to toss your car battery into the trash, where it may wind up leaking in a landfill and contaminating groundwater with toxic chemicals. If you're tempted to dispose of your car battery in an improper way, remind yourself that the typical car battery is made up about 21 pounds of lead and a gallon of sulfuric acid. It's a little plastic package of very dangerous chemicals, and it's your responsibility to make sure those chemicals don't harm anyone.
Don Your Safety Gear
Make sure you put on safety goggles, thick work gloves and long sleeves. Battery acid can be terribly painful and harmful if it gets on your skin or in your eyes.
Extinguish All Flames
Don't smoke around old batteries. Gases from a leaky battery can explode. Remove lighters, matches and other sources of flame, and remove the battery in an area that's free of fuels and flammable chemicals.
Disconnect the Battery
Carefully remove the car battery from its mounting bracket and place it inside a sturdy plastic bag. Watch out for leaking battery acid; keep the battery far from your clothing, face and skin. Clean up any battery acid that leaks by flushing the area thoroughly with water.
Recycle the Car Battery
You can do the environment a favor and recycle your car battery in a variety of ways:
Ask About Disposal Charges
When you make calls to find out where you can dispose of your car battery, ask about charges. Some places may charge more than others. Some may not charge you anything at all. As a rule, auto retailers and service centers will charge you to recycle the battery. Some auto parts dealers may offer free recycling if you buy a new battery, or give you a discount on the recycling fee. Recycling in your community is usually free, but call to see if there are any charges.
Learn how to handle some common car battery problems and how to maintain your battery.
Understanding how to disconnect a car battery can save your life. Electricity is not something to be treated lightly.
Learning how to install a new car battery can save you a lot of money when it comes time to replace your battery. It's a simple operation, but you need to do it correctly to avoid serious injury.