Do you have an old lead-acid car battery taking up valuable space in your garage? Are you wondering if you can take it to your local AutoZone store to dispose of it? Keep reading to find out more about AutoZone’s procedures for accepting old batteries and learn what you can do with your unwanted battery.
AutoZone’s Policy on Used Batteries
Absolutely! AutoZone happily accepts old batteries, making the process easy and convenient for you.
Is Battery Disposal at AutoZone Free?
Yes, indeed! AutoZone is a fantastic option for getting rid of your old battery because they don’t charge any additional fees.
You don’t have to bring in just one battery at a time. If you have multiple old batteries, you can bring them all in following your local AutoZone’s guidelines for safe disposal.
Do You Get Paid for Your Old Battery at AutoZone?
Yes! When you take your old batteries to your local AutoZone, you will receive a $10 gift card for each battery you drop off.
Some argue whether a gift card should count as getting money for your battery. Regardless, trading in a few dead batteries for gift cards is a great way to contribute towards purchasing a new battery or other automotive parts and accessories.
Bringing Your Old Batteries to AutoZone: The Process
Removing a battery from your car and taking it to AutoZone is both simple and convenient. Here’s what you need to do:
- Safety first: Always remove a car battery with caution. Wear gloves and eye protection to avoid any contact with battery acid.
- Disconnect the cables: Start by disconnecting the negative cable and then the positive cable from your battery, in that exact order. Use a wrench, ensuring it doesn’t touch both terminals simultaneously.
- Remove any hold-downs: Unscrew any battery hold-downs which could be straps or plastic blocks. Other safety features may require a similar removal process.
- Inspect for damage: Check the battery for cracks, leaks, or any other signs of damage that could pose a safety risk.
- Visit AutoZone: Bring your battery to AutoZone and speak with one of their experts about properly disposing of it.
If you don’t feel comfortable removing the battery yourself, you can visit one of AutoZone’s Preferred Auto Shops for assistance. Alternatively, many AutoZone locations offer free battery removal services.
Types of Batteries Accepted by AutoZone
AutoZone accepts more than just the dead battery pulled out of your car or pickup truck. They also take batteries used in various equipment. Here are some battery types they accept:
- Car and passenger vehicle batteries
- Marine batteries
- Powersport batteries
- Small equipment batteries
To find out if AutoZone will take a specific battery you want to dispose of, check their website or contact your local store.
What Happens to Old Batteries at AutoZone?
When you bring your battery to AutoZone, they work with organizations equipped to handle hazardous waste recycling.
AutoZone Battery Recycling
Because car batteries contain potentially hazardous materials such as plastics, sulfuric acid, and lead, a unique recycling process is necessary to separate, neutralize, and clean the components of a lead-acid battery.
- Plastic: The polypropylene parts of the battery go through a washing and drying process. They are then transformed into plastic pellets using an extruder. Battery manufacturers use these pellets to create new battery cases.
- Lead: The lead components are cleaned and melted down in a smelting furnace. The resulting molten lead is poured into molds to create ingots weighing anywhere from 65 lbs to 2,000 lbs. Impurities are removed from these ingots, and once cooled, the lead is sent to battery manufacturers for remelting and forming new components.
- Sulfuric Acid: Sulfuric acid handling methods vary. In some cases, the acid is mixed with a compound similar to baking soda, neutralizing it and turning it into water. This water is then cleaned, treated, and tested before being released into the public sewer system. Other facilities convert the acid into sodium sulfate, a white powder commonly used in laundry detergent, glass, and textile manufacturing. Additionally, an innovative recycling process has been developed that reclaims and reuses the acid for new batteries.
Other Options for Disposing of Old Batteries
If you don’t have a nearby AutoZone store, there are still plenty of alternatives for properly disposing of your old battery. Here are some common locations that frequently accept used batteries:
- Auto salvage yards
- Metal recycling plants
- Auto repair shops
- Other auto parts stores
Where Can You Dispose of Your Car Battery for Free?
Several places allow you to dispose of your battery without incurring any cost. Look for recycling centers, auto parts stores, and mechanics in your local area who might be willing to take the battery off your hands free of charge.
What Else Can You Do with Old Car Batteries?
If you’re not ready to trade in your old battery just yet, make sure to store it in a safe location. Find a cool, dry place with good ventilation. It’s best to keep the storage area temperatures between 32ºF and 80ºF.