Disposal of Sealed Lead-Acid Batteries

Updated March 16, 2017

Used batteries are potentially hazardous to the environment if they are not disposed of properly. Heavy metals, corrosive acids and lead may seep out from batteries that are carelessly disposed of and harm lakes, wildlife and humans. If you have an old sealed lead-acid battery (SLA battery, typically used for cars and boats) chances are you can recycle it. According to Environmental Health and Safety Online, almost 90 per cent of all lead-acid batteries can be collected and used to make new batteries.

Ask the automotive centre whether it recycles old batteries when it comes time to buy a new sealed lead-acid battery. According to, many retailers that sell and install new batteries also recycle the old batteries. Take your old batteries to these places, and the retailer will properly recycle and dispose of your battery.

Participate in AAA's Great Battery Roundup, held annually around Earth Day (April 22), during which the AAA establishes collection centres that dispose of old batteries, especially SLA batteries. Call your local AAA centre for more details.

Find a recycling location near you. Bring the old battery to that location for proper disposal. Your phone book might help; but has a search engine to help you find a recycling centre. Use the link in the Resources section to find a centre near you.

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About the Author

Based in Traverse City, Mich., George Lawrence has been writing professionally since 2009. His work primarily appears on various websites. An avid outdoorsman, Lawrence holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in both criminal justice and English from Michigan State University, as well as a Juris Doctor from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, where he graduated with honors.