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Do you have an old car battery that you don’t know what to do with? Maybe you have several lying around in your garage or outside.
Did you know you can actually get paid to recycle those bad boys? Neither did I until now! The only thing I could think to do with them was to take them to a local shop for proper disposal.
Car Battery Recycling for Cash
Thankfully, when you take a battery to a shop, it does get recycled properly. In fact, according to the Scientific American, they are the most recycled products in the U.S.
But, even that charges a fee. Why pay a fee to recycle your battery when you can do it for free and even get some cash back for it?!
So, here is all the information you need about recycling old batteries!
Follow State Regulations
Each state is different, so it is important to ensure you are following your state’s regulations when you recycle old car batteries.
Most batteries do not contain a lot of hazardous materials, but leaving them around is harmful to our environment.
You can contact an ecosystem protection agency as well as the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to find out information about recycling batteries.
Along with finding out your state’s regulations in regards to recycling, you will want to be careful when handling used batteries since they do hold lead in them.
Take the following precautions:
- Avoid touching any acids
- Never store batters in high temperatures
- Do not leave batteries around open flames or furnaces
How Does Recycling Work?
You may be wondering how and why anyone would pay for an old car battery that probably doesn’t work. Well, for one thing, the chemicals in the battery are not safe for the environment.
Secondly, each part of the battery can be recycled and used in another way that makes money. So in essence people who buy batteries are going to get more money by recycling it.
Here’s how it works:
- The battery is broken apart in a hammer mill which is a machine that hammers the battery into pieces.
- The broken battery pieces are placed into a vat that allows the lead and heavy materials to fall to the bottom while plastic floats to the top.
- Polypropylene pieces are scooped away, liquids are drawn off, and the lead and heavy metals are left.
- Each material goes into a separate recycling stream.
Plastic also known as the Polypropylene pieces are washed, blown dry, and sent to the plastic recycler. The pieces are melted down into almost a liquid state.
The melted plastic is put through an extruder that produces small plastic pellets all the same size. The plastic pellets are sent back to the battery manufacturing company (money).
The lead grids, lead oxide, and other lead parts are cleaned and heated by smelting furnaces. The melted lead is poured into ingot molds.
Impurities that float to the top of these ingot molds are scraped away and the lead is left to cool. When cooled the molds are sent back to battery manufacturers (more money).
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The acid that is in the battery can either be neutralized and turned into a compound similar to a household baking soda. Or, it can be processed and converted to sodium sulfate.
Once the acid is processed it becomes an odorless white powder that is used in laundry soap, detergent, glass, and textile manufacturing (more and more money).
So, as you can see each part of the batter can be recycled and reused to make more money. This is why people will pay you for used batteries.
How Much Money Can I get for a Used Battery
You won’t make a killing on a single used battery, but you can make some extra cash if you have more than one.
One battery will probably yield you anywhere from $7-$15 per battery. This depends on where you take the battery to recycle it.
However, if you have several batteries, it could be worth your wild to sell them. Other people go around collecting old car batteries just to get the extra cash.
You can search for old car batteries along the side of the road, in trash bins, and ask people if they have any car batteries they don’t need.
Either way, if you have a used car battery, you might as well get a few bucks off of it rather than paying to dispose of it.
Where to Sell Old Car Batteries
Now, to the part, you have been waiting for…..
Where do you sell these old car batteries for recycling?
There are a few places you can choose to recycle your old batteries that will make you a few extra bucks. Here are our top places to go:
#1 Local Auto Parts Store
One of the easiest and most convenient ways to recycle old batteries for cash is by visiting your local auto parts store.
These places are usually willing to buy old worn out batteries for $6 to $8 a piece. Even if they don’t pay cash, you will definitely get a store credit. Here are some stores to check out:
- Auto Zone
- Advance Auto
- Napa Auto Parts
#2 Scrap Yards
Many times, scrap yards will buy your old car batteries to use the pieces and parts off of them. You may not get a lot of money here, but you will probably get something.
If you are looking to make more money for your stock of old batteries, you will want to look for foundries in your area.
A simple Google search will tell you if there are foundries in your area or close to where you live.
A foundry is a factory that produces metal castings. Metals are cast into shapes by melting the metal down and placing it in a mold.
There is a good amount of metal on old used batteries which why foundries will pay you for them.
#3 Local People
Local people will sometimes buy old used batteries for various things including recycling them at another place.
You may not get as much money from these people as they may want to take a cut for themselves.
Instead of doing an ad, you can also do a search on the above places to see if anyone wants old batteries. They may have put an ad out for old stuff anyways.
Keep in mind many people will tote them off your property for free, but may not want to pay for them.
Some locals like to go around picking up trash and recycling for others as they know how to get money from recycling these items.
Be clear in your advertising that you want a cut of the money!
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#4 United Battery
The United Battery is quite famous for their Cash for Junk Batteries Program. They will give you a cash reward for both automotive and industrial batteries.
They don’t have prices or details on their website but ask you to give them a call for information and pay details.
It looks like they are only doing this program in Portland and Longview, but check it out in your area to see.
#5 The Yellow Pages
No, I am not talking about the yellow pages of that old paper phone book. Instead, you can head to yellow pages online.
Just doing a simple search such as “Cash for junk batteries” yields several places where you can recycle your batteries for cash.
Why Should I Recycle Old Batteries?
If you are reading through this and think it all sounds like more work, and you would rather just throw it in the trash, keep reading.
Throwing a battery in the trash is harmful to the environment and ultimately harmful to you. Different types of batteries contain different dangerous chemicals.
Chemicals that can be found in various batteries include lead, cadmium, zinc, lithium, and sometimes mercury.
When batteries begin to rot in the landfill, these harmful chemicals seep into the ground. This causes both soil and water pollution.
When these chemicals are ingested by animals and humans, it isn’t safe. In fact, it may be one of the reasons cancer is so prevalent.
Recycling your old batteries is a great way to help protect the environment for yourself and future generations.
Each battery that is placed into a recycling bin will be taken apart and the materials will all be used again without putting more pollution into the world.
So, even if you don’t want to go through all the hassle for a few bucks, drop it off at a local parts store so that you know it won’t be damaging the environment.
Never throw an old car battery in the trash can…..
In fact, you shouldn’t throw any battery in the trash…..all batteries should be recycled!
It’s your turn to share! Have you ever made cash from recycling old batteries? Let us know all about your experience in the comments below!
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