Used car batteries and other used lead-acid batteries are hazardous waste and should be disposed of responsibly through recycling programs. Lead-acid batteries should never be put in your recycling or garbage bin at home.
Lead-acid batteries also include batteries in motorcycles, boats, emergency lighting, and air conditioners.
Lead-acid batteries are hazardous and should never be put in your recycling or garbage bin at home. Use the information on this page to find a recycling point near you.
A national network of Battery Recycling Centres has been established by Century Yuasa for environmentally responsible collection and recycling of used lead-acid batteries.
Most car workshops, scrap metal dealers and service stations will accept used car batteries for recycling. Check with your car battery vendor when purchasing a new battery.
Some states and councils provide household hazardous waste or chemical collection programs that accept used lead-acid batteries for recycling. Check with your council directly.
How to recycle lead-acid batteries at work
If your workplace or business has large quantities of car batteries or other types of lead-acid batteries to recycle, visit Business Recycling to find a suitable drop-off or pick-up service near you.
Why should I recycle my old car battery?
Used car batteries and other lead-acid batteries contain toxic and hazardous materials such as lead and sulphuric acid. If lead-acid batteries are not disposed of responsibly (by dumping them ilegally or sending them to landfill), these hazardous materials can enter the environment.
Around 97% of the materials used in lead-acid batteries can be recycled and used again to make new products. However, due to the toxic nature of lead and corrosive battery acid, they are considered a hazardous item when they reach their end of life. They must be disposed of responsibly so they can be recycled, giving the materials in the batteries a second life and keeping them out landfill and the environment.
What happens to the car battery when I recycle it?
Car batteries and other lead-acid batteries can be reconditioned or recycled into new products made from the lead, sulphuric acid, and polypropylene. Recycling used lead-acid batteries uses less energy than refining primary ore.
When lead-acid batteries are collected through recycling programs, they are taken to a battery recycling plant where the battery is broken apart to separate it into different components (lead, metallic plates and connectors, polypropylene and other plastics, and acid electrolyte).
The recycled lead is often used to make new batteries. Sulphuric acid is converted to sodium sulfate to be used in the manufacture of glass, textiles, laundry detergents, and fertilisers. Battery containers and lids (made from polypropylene) can also be recycled to make new battery cases, rubbish bins, and plant pots.