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How To Dispose Of Battery Acid

Most of the car batteries that we use are Lead–Acid batteries. We also use these Lead Acid batteries in our homes. The problem with such batteries is that you can not dispose of them easily. 

You can not throw them in the trash because it is illegal in most states. The reason why it is illegal is because of the acid and other hazardous materials used. You need to take extra care while recycling these lead-acid batteries because of this. 

The first and the only step in getting rid of old batteries is to dispose of the battery acid. Once you get rid of the battery acid, you are all done. To do that, you have three options: 

  1. Contact a waste disposal facility in your area or take your battery to a nearby shop. (More on this later) 
  2. Neutralize the acid and flush it out. 
  3. Throw away the Sulfuric Acid. 

3 Ways to Dispose Of Battery Acid 

As discussed above, there are three ways you can dispose of battery acid. Remember, these methods are for disposing of the battery acid, not the battery itself. 

Let’s discuss these three ways in further detail: 

1. Contact A Waste Disposal Facility Or Take Your To A Nearby Shop

It is the easiest way to dispose of battery acid. You can take your old battery to a waste disposal facility or a nearby auto repair shop. Most auto repair shops have programs for recollecting the batteries they sold. Therefore, it is recommended to take your battery to the shop you bought it from first. Normally, they take a deposit at the time of buying the batteries, which is then returned. 

If you did not buy your battery from any auto parts shop or did not have any nearby, try looking for retailers that sell those batteries. They might likely have a program for recycling old batteries. Both of these shops send the batteries back to the manufacturer, where these batteries are disposed of properly. Each part of the battery is recycled and reused in making newer products. 

If there are no retailers in your area, the only option you have is to find a scrapyard. Most of them will even pay you a certain amount of fee for your battery. If you cannot find any scrapyard, try looking for hazardous waste facilities as the last option. 

2. Neutralize The Acid And Flush It Out

Another option you might explore is to neutralize the acid and flush it out in the drain. Flushing any battery acid out in the drain without neutralizing is illegal in many states. Apart from being illegal, it is damaging to the environment. It can harm the whole water supply system. 

When you are neutralizing the sulfuric acid inside the battery, make sure to follow certain precautions. The sulfuric acid in the battery can be very dangerous for your hands and body. Here is the step-by-step process of neutralizing the battery acid before flushing it out: 

  1. Wear precautionary equipment (gloves and glasses)
  2. Pour water into the acid and then put some baking soda
  3. The soda will neutralize the acid. Once neutralized, you can take it out from the battery. 

3. Throw Out The Sulfuric Acid

If you do not want to neutralize the battery acid is to get rid of it completely. You can just pour it out in a plastic container, label the container as hazardous waste, and throw it to a scrapyard. But keep in mind that the scrapyard must be the one that accepts hazardous waste. If the scrapyard near you does not accept such waste, you will have to contact a hazardous waste facility nearby that will provide you with any drop-off or pick-up service for the acid. 

Things To Keep In Mind To Stay Safe

When you are disposing of the battery acid, or even the battery itself – there are certain precautions that you need to take. Battery acids are extremely hazardous, and can often lead to a lot of physical damage. 

Even if you are not disposing of them, you should still take these measures to keep yourself safe while maintaining the batteries. Here’s the list of things you need to keep in mind when you are dealing with batteries to stay safe: 

  1. Always wear protective gloves and goggles when handling the battery acids. 
  2. Always wash your hands after you have touched the battery acids. 
  3. Leave the battery cables connected with the terminals all the time. 
  4. Put your batteries in a separate, ventilated container to avoid any short circuit or other damage. 
  5. Keep an eye on any leakage. And, take the battery to the mechanic if you see any leakage. 

In Summary

Disposing of battery acid is not rocket science. You can call a waste management facility in your area, and they will take care of everything. There are also other ways if you don’t want to just dump the battery in a scrapyard. But, there are a few things to keep in mind. You need to take certain precautions throughout the useful life of your battery to keep your environment/house safe. 

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