What to do with old car batteries?
Some people have no idea what to do with them. For the rest of us, the only thing we can think of is to take it down to the local auto shop and have them dispose of it, often charging you a fee.
Thankfully, these batteries do get recycled properly. Car batteries are the most recycled products in the U.S., according to the Scientific American.
I used to be happy with that, until last year when I found out I could actually get cash for old and unused batteries, and not just car batteries, but other kinds as well.
And as someone who considers himself to be “Green”, the thought of getting cash to recycle something, made me even happier.
A while back, while cleaning out my garage, I came across an old unused car battery. So, as someone who is somewhat “green” and doesn’t like throwing stuff away, I started looking up for places that would take it and recycle it.
A friend told me that the local Interstate Battery store takes them in for free. So, I took the battery to the store.
I asked the cashier if they would accept them, he looked at me and said, “didn’t you see that big sign we have out there?”. I said “No”. “Go take a look, then come back in”, he said.
Long story short, they actually had a sign that basically said they buy old batteries for $7.
“I can actually make money recycling old car batteries!”, I said to myself, in shock!.
I couldn’t believe I had never thought of that. That’s when I started doing some research, and here is what I have learned.
Making Money Doing It
At the onset you need to gather enough batteries to be able to make it a profitable venture for you. In fact, the larger the number of batteries, the more they are worth.
You may accumulate 8D type of batteries used in pay loaders, small batteries as used in lawn mowers, and even toy batteries (ATV/Snowmobile).
I may also add here that you need to take consideration of certain things like pollution control agencies and the EPA, though most of the spent batteries are not considered hazardous materials.
Since batteries contain lead and acids you should take precautions while handling them. Ensure that your skin doesn’t come into contact with acid.
Moreover, batteries should not be exposed to high temperatures or open flames as they could explode.
Where to Sell Used Car Batteries
Local Auto Parts Stores
This is, to me, the easiest and fastest way. Most of us have an Auto Zone, Advance Auto, or any other brand of auto part store, within a few blocks. Most of these stores are willing to buy old worn out batteries. Check up with some of the stores in your neighborhood if anyone is buying such batteries. Usually, they pay six to eight dollars per battery. And even if they don’t pay you cash, they will give you store credit.
Scrap yards will generally buy exhausted batteries. But if you want to get a better price for your stock of old batteries, you should look for foundries. A simple search on the net will tell you if there are any foundries close to your area.
In certain places there are local guys interested in buying these batteries but then they do keep a cut for themselves. It may need some effort on your part to find people offering the most for your stuff.
United Battery are known for offering cash rewards for old batteries with their famous Cash for Junk Batteries program. The amount they pay for lead acid batteries is often attractive. You may want to check out their website to get additional information.
I just did a quick search on Google and I found a dozen or so places that have a “Cash for Junk Batteries” or some kind of deal like that in my local area.
How Much Can You Make?
In my experience, the average is somewhere under $10. Some places give you $6-7, some a little higher and some a little lower. But hey, you weren’t going to use the battery anyway, you may as well get a few dollars off of it. It beats the can recycling money.
Quick Note About Transporting Batteries
In case you intend transporting batteries, I would suggest checking with local DMV to explore the likelihood of getting HAZ-MAT incorporated in your driving license. There are a lot of rules and regulations in place to protect the environment from harmful impact of lead.
That is an expense, of course, but is a small insurance in the long run.
Have you ever sold an old battery? If so, how and where did you sell it?
I would love to hear about your experience.