How To Dispose of Used Vehicle Batteries in the UK?
Generally, batteries contain metals like cadmium, nickel, lead, and mercury, which are harmful to human health and the environment. Batteries ending up in landfill sites can corrode and leach chemicals into the soil, which make their way into the freshwater supply.
According to UK law, you can’t dispose of vehicle batteries with household waste or in hired skips. You must contact a local recycling centre to take away your used car battery. A used vehicle battery can also end up in a scrap metal facility and garage. Most garages and recycling centres in the UK will accept your used car battery and store it properly.
Used Vehicle Battery – The UK Law/Legislation
The UK law does not permit the disposal of vehicle batteries through incineration or landfill. There is no collection target for used vehicle batteries. However, UK law bans landfill sites and incineration centres to dispose of car batteries.
The UK government recognizes the collection and recycling of used batteries by recycling centres to continue eco-friendly practices. The law requires common people and businesses to deal directly with government-certified battery treatment operators.
Vehicle batteries are also called wet cell batteries. The recycling process usually incurs battery dissection into different components of acid, silver, lead, and distilled water. The recycling process involves the breakdown of the parts of the battery to extract silver or lead materials. Then, the staff carefully melts the lead, neutralize the acid, and purify the water.
The UK law stresses recovering at least 95% of the lead from used vehicle batteries. Recycling helps cut down on carbon dioxide emissions. The recycling centres turn the used batteries into automobile components and plasterboard parts. Here are the steps to dispose of the used vehicle battery. (By disposal, we mean recycling of your used car battery).
Step 1: Remove the Battery
Before starting the process of battery removal, it is essential to wear protective gear. Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from the liquid material in the battery because they are toxic to the eyes. Experts also recommend wearing gloves to protect your hands.
Step 2: Disconnect the Battery
You can disconnect the battery using a socket wrench. It is an essential tool to loosen the nuts on the battery terminals. First, you must loosen the nut on the negative terminal of the battery. Remove the ground cable from this terminal. Second, repeat the same process with the positive terminal of the battery to remove the cable. Make sure you tuck both cables to the side to avoid contact with the terminals.
Step 3: Look for Damages
Check the battery to figure out damages. For instance, if the battery is punctured or crushed in a car accident, then it is not easy to remove and transport it to the recycling centre. Visually inspect the battery for holes and leaks so that you know how to handle it properly. If the battery has any leaks, you must act carefully because leaking of liquid can cause damage to your eyes and skin.
Step 4: Wrap the Battery in a Bag
Most often, when you remove a used battery from your car, it contains dirt, dust, and grime on its surface. Wrapping the battery in a plastic bag will prevent the car’s interior from stains while transporting it to your local recycling centre. Use heavy-duty bags to double wrap the battery if it is leaking. It is not necessary to tie the plastic bags tightly. However, you have to ensure the battery stays upright.
Step 5: Keep the Battery Upright
As mentioned above, if you want to safely transport a used vehicle battery, you must keep it in an upright position. Avoid placing it in your car in the upside-down position. Similarly, you must place the battery on the ground. Place it correctly so that it does not fall over while you are taking it to the recycling centre. If your battery has a lid on the top, make sure it does not open. Otherwise, it will drain the toxic liquid from the inside of the battery.
Step 6: Find a Local Recycling Centre
Before you transport the used battery to the recycling centre, find out whether or not they accept used batteries. Ask your family member or neighbour about a local recycling centre that accepts used car batteries. You can also call your local council to get information. The easiest way is to search the internet using search terms like “car battery recycling centre near me.” Because the UK law is strictly against the disposal of vehicle batteries, the majority of recycling centres will accept the used battery. So, this should not be a problem.
Step 7: Contact the Recycling Centre
After you have found a reputable recycling centre in your area, the next step is to contact them. The purpose of calling them is to know whether they prefer to pick up or drop off the battery. Recycling centres have their policies, which means some prefer to pick up the used battery while many others require the individual to drop off the battery. If the centre tells you that they will pick up the battery, make sure you inform them about its condition. This way, they will come prepared, pick up, and transport the battery easily.
How to recycle your used Battery when replacing it?
In the UK, it is a common practice to replace the old battery with a new one. Many automotive parts stores in the UK accept used batteries and give you a new one. Remember, they accept old batteries as a deposit for the new one.
So, replacing the battery requires you to wrap it in a plastic bag and take it to the store where you can buy a new battery. It is crucial to call the store and ask them if they accept used car batteries as a deposit.
UK law is very strict about recycling old or used vehicle batteries. Every citizen in the UK needs to recycle used car batteries. If you don’t do this, you can be sued for your actions. Anyway, follow the steps given above to recycle your old battery without any hassle.