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Can Sealed Lead Acid Batteries be Recycled?
Interestingly, many of the SLA battery components are actually recyclable. The plastic that most of them are made out of can be recycled plus the lead which can be reused in new batteries so by many estimates, about 85% - 95% of all SLA batteries can be reused in some fashion. We’re all very familiar with the benefits of recycling (cleaner planet, natural mineral conservation, minimize energy etc) so the fact that most components in our batteries are able to be recycled is good news indeed.
The process itself is quite interesting. Essentially the batteries are crushed and then go into a water separating process to pull the lead and plastic away from each other. The lead sinks to the bottom, the plastic to the top. Here’s a good video explanation going over the actual recycling process.
What to do with your old SLA battery?
With that in mind, it’s important to know how you can actually go about recycling your battery. At BatteryClerk we accept Lead Acid Batteries (SLA, VRLA, AGM) for our recycling program, you’ll just need to ship it to our head office in New Jersey. The battery casings are very durable so shipping is no problem, and many will often ship a whole pallet to the BatteryClerk headquarters where they are then sent to the appropriate recycling center.
There may also be drop off locations around you where you can take them to be responsibly disposed. A lot of car part and auto shops will certainly take car batteries and many of them will take other kinds.
It might also be worth investigating specific waste and recycling centers in your city or town. Many have free locations where you can drop off batteries rather than having to ship or dump them (which you should never do).
There are also some interesting services cropping up that are specifically designed to recycle batteries. Call2Recycle offers several locations around the US and Canada for a variety of battery types as well as packaging solutions where you can safety pack and ship your battery.
All of the BatteryClerk global websites has details on where to send your batteries. In the US it’s Oklahoma and Canada is in Ottawa. We also may have some additional information on our Tutorials & Guides section on Recycling SLA Batteries.