Lead-acid batteries contain sulphuric acid and lead, both of which can be harmful to people and the environment if disposed of improperly. Car batteries are especially hazardous; according to Environment, Health and Safety Online, car batteries contain 8.16 Kilogram of lead and 1 pound of sulphuric acid. Because of these hazards, it is very important to dispose of lead-acid batteries correctly. Fortunately, lead-acid batteries are recyclable, and most states have laws requiring businesses that sell lead-acid batteries to collect them for recycling.
Turn off your vehicle or appliance before removing a dead battery. Separate sealed and gel cell batteries (which are used in devices like video cameras, power tools and wheelchairs) from vehicle batteries, which are used in cars, boats, trucks and motorcycles.
Find a recycling centre that accepts lead-acid batteries to dispose of non-automotive batteries. Online resources, such as Earth911, allow you to search for recyclers of non-automotive lead-acid batteries.
Contact local automotive shops to recycle your automotive lead-acid batteries if you have no luck with local recycling centres. Shops that sell car batteries are generally required by law to collect them for recycling.
Ask your local recycling centre about accepting your automotive lead-acid battery if you have any to recycle. Some recycling programs will accept this type of battery.
Wear gloves and goggles while handling batteries. Always wash your hands after you handle old batteries. Don't attempt to transport a leaking battery. Call a professional instead. Keep batteries away from flame.