How to get scrap batteries

Written by kent page mcgroarty
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How to get scrap batteries
Place auto batteries upright to avoid leaks. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Since batteries contain toxic lead and acid substances, they require special disposal rather than being thrown out along with the rest of the trash. Collecting battery scrap to sell is one way of dealing with batteries responsibly and can help you make some extra money. As with scrap metal, scrap batteries, automotive or otherwise, can fetch a nice price at recycling centres, scrap metal auctions or other online auctions. Remember to store batteries responsibly before selling to avoid damage to the home or self.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Let family and friends know that you will collect their scrap batteries. Call and visit service stations and auto parts stores for scrap battery collecting. Post signs in your local marina or marina supply store, if applicable. Ask friends in the automotive business if you can post signs in garages or stores, or to collect scrap batteries for you to pick up.

  2. 2

    Place free ads on sites like Craigslist, Classifieds for Free and Free Advertising Forum. Also try buying ad space in the classified sections of local newspapers and automotive magazines, such as Automotive Digest, Automobile Magazine and Automotive Industries. Call auction houses that sell scrap metal to find out if they have any scrap batteries to sell at their next auction. Find out the dates and times of auctions, if applicable.

  3. 3

    Look for scrap batteries on online auctions and online recycling exchange listings. World Scrap is a resource for purchasing large quantities of battery scrap while the Recycler's Exchange provides lead/acid battery recycling exchange listings. Another resource is Recycle In Me, which lists buy-and-sell offers for battery scrap as well as listings of suppliers.

  4. 4

    List your scrap battery collections on the aforementioned sites as well as other online auction sites such as eBay, uBid and WeBidz once you have collected enough scrap to sell. Take your collections to scrap metal auctions, and call recycling centres in your area to find out which ones will pay for scrap batteries. Call the centres before selling to ensure you are getting the best price.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear protective gloves and safety glasses when handling any kind of old battery to avoid battery acid burns.
  • Keep batteries stored in your garage or basement until needed as the concrete flooring will not give way to battery acid damage.
  • Should battery acid get in your eye immediately flush it with cold water from a shower, eye wash station or clean bottle for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • If battery acid is accidentally ingested drink a quart or more of milk and have a friend or family member take you to the nearest poison control centre. Do not induce vomiting.
  • If you turn collecting battery scrap into a regular gig consider purchasing a battery acid spill kit for handling battery acid hazards. Such kits contain protective gear and acid-neutralising agents.
  • Neutralise acid spills under 2 gallons with a caustic such as lime or cement.

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