Here at Freeman Grapevine, we like to be aware of any “footprints” our dealership can potentially leave on our environment. Take your car battery, for example. When most green-minded folks think about being stewards of our planet, they’re more likely to have visions of planting trees and cleaning streams than pondering their car battery’s place in the universe. Understandable…there’s a lot you may not know about your new car’s battery.
First, your new car’s battery is highly toxic, being made up primarily of lead, acid, and plastic. But the good news is they’re also highly recyclable, and old ones usually end up getting turned into more batteries.
According to the industry trade group Battery Council International:
More than 97 percent of all used battery lead is recycled into new batteries. When compared to the 55 percent of aluminum soft drink and beer cans, 45 percent of newspapers, and 26 percent of glass bottles that BCI says get recycled, batteries start looking pretty green. In fact, lead-acid batteries top the list of recycled consumer products.
In addition to recycling the lead, the plastic cases are melted down and used to make new ones. The acid, they say, can even get turned into sodium sulfate, a powder used in glass, detergents, and textiles. Alternatively, some recyclers neutralize the acid, turn it into water, and release it into the public sewer system once it is cleaned and tested.
While that last part may sound a little scary, it’s still better than batteries ending up in a landfill, an incinerator, or by the side of the road.
The BCI Web site lists 44 states that prohibit disposing of old car batteries in landfills and incinerators. Nearly 40 of those states also require retailers and distributors to collect used batteries from consumers for recycling. (Go to www.batterycouncil.org to see the details for your state.)
When shopping, your best bet is to find a dealer that will install your new one for free and recycle the old one for you. If there’s a charge for installation, make sure to find out what it is before making a purchase.
Recycle, recycle , recycle…If you want any more info, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or call Freeman Grapevine