What to Do With Your Old Car Battery

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The arrival of brisk weather here in Connecticut may bring an unpleasant reminder that your car’s battery may not survive another winter. We can all sympathize with the frustration of dealing with a dead battery. But we all also need to be aware that replacing an old battery includes the responsibility to dispose of it safely, through recycling.

Here in Connecticut we have convenient methods of recycling almost everything in our household waste stream. Within Fairfield County, the towns of Trumbull and Monroe both have programs to handle most of the items that will come from your car, including motor oil, filters, anti-freeze, and car and motorcycle batteries.

It’s the Law!

Section 22a-241b of the Regulations of the Connecticut State Agencies, plus Sections 22a-208v and 22a-256a of the Connecticut General Statutes make recycling of many waste items a legal requirement. The list includes lead-acid car and motorcycle batteries. Not only is it the law, it is a great way to protect Connecticut’s natural beauty and preserve the state’s natural resources.

What is in a Car Battery?

A 21st century car or motorcycle battery is almost unchanged from designs of 100 years ago. Built inside a heavy-duty plastic box are lead plates essentially sitting in a bath of sulfuric acid. It is like a box of toxins waiting for a foolish person to release them into the environment.

Lead can destroy a human’s brain, with children being especially vulnerable. It is a poison, and cannot be naturally shed from the body. Sulfuric acid has a pH of around 1, meaning it is an extremely strong acid that can severely burn human and animal skin. Nobody wants either lead or sulfuric acid recklessly released into Connecticut’s land or waterways.

Recycling

Knowing the dangers of car batteries, and to help residents comply with state law, the towns of Trumbull and Monroe here in Fairfield County both accept car batteries for recycling.

In Trumbull, take your car battery (and motor oil, antifreeze and even cooking oil!) to the TEAM Transfer Station, 101 Spring Hill Road. Put these items inside the main building. The building is open Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., and on Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. While you are there, you can find out about the many other items accepted for recycling from town residents.

In Monroe, you can take your car or motorcycle battery to the town garage at 447 Purdy Hill Road. It is open on the second Saturday of each month from 8:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. There is no charge for this service.

For more help with your questions about recycling, contact us at Residential Waste Systems. We will be glad to steer you–and your car battery–in the right direction.


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