Recycle Lead-Acid Batteries
What can I recycle?
All lead-acid batteries that fall under one of following five categories:
- Sealed Lead Acid (i.e. emergency lighting)
- Passenger & Light Truck Vehicle
- Commercial Truck Vehicle
- Motive (i.e. electric forklifts)
- Stationary (i.e. large power supply and emergency back-up)
Why should I recycle?
Batteries contain a number of heavy metals and toxic chemicals. By recycling batteries, you divert waste from your local landfills, help reduce the risk of soil contamination and water pollution, expose corrosive acids, and reduce the need for raw materials to manufacture new products.
Canadian Battery Association (CBA) and Interstate Batteries (IBSC) are two lead-acid batteries stewardship programs in British Columbia.
Where can I recycle?
The CBA and IBSC have developed province-wide lead-acid battery recycling programs.
Batteries are accepted for free at participating retailers. Also, private metal recyclers may accept lead-acid batteries and in some cases, pay for them. For local recycling options and locations, go to Recycling Council of BC Recyclepedia at rcbc.bc.ca.
What happens to it?
The three basic components of lead-acid batteries are all 100% recyclable.
- Lead and lead products: 99% of lead is recovered during the smelting process and is recycled or sold as a commodity.
- Electrolyte: 100% of sulphuric acid sold is recovered and is recycled, sold as a commodity or neutralized for disposal.
- Plastics: Recycled and sold as a commodity.
What do I do with a battery that cannot be recycled?
The Ministry has worked with the lead-acid battery sector to develop the following series of guides describing when batteries become hazardous waste and how to register, transport, store and dispose of used or spent batteries.
The guides confirm that when used or spent batteries are collected they are subject to the Hazardous Waste Regulation, unless the batteries are transported from the original user directly to an original manufacturer or supplier of new batteries. Used or spent lead-acid batteries are not hazardous waste when transported from the original user directly to an original manufacture or supplier of new batteries.