Batteries aren’t something that can be tossed in the trash or home recycling bin, and that includes marine batteries. If you need to dispose of your old marine battery, we’ve got some tips to get rid of it safely without harming the environment.
Return It to Where You Purchased It
Perhaps the simplest way to get rid of a marine battery that’s no longer usable is to return it to where you purchased it. If you purchased the battery from a marine equipment supplier, most allow customers to return the battery when it’s dead. From there, the company will take care of the recycling and disposal process. Plus, after returning the battery, you can easily pick up a new one while you’re in the shop.
However, this method might not be applicable if you had your marine battery delivered from a supplier without a nearby physical location or a warehouse retailer like Walmart.
Find a Battery Recycling Center
If you can’t return the battery to the supplier, you’ll want to bring it to a certified recycling location for batteries. Do not dispose of your old marine battery by throwing it in the trash or a household recycling bin. That is harmful to the environment and also dangerous for regular recycling handlers.
Nearly 99 percent of the material within a lead-acid battery can be safely recycled to produce new batteries, but only if you dispose of it properly. Many hardware or big-box stores like The Home Depot have recycling centers that properly dispose of old batteries.
Also, Earth911 lists over a hundred thousand recycling centers across North America on its website. It’s a great resource to find additional places to dispose of marine batteries.
Handle With Care
While handling your old marine battery and transporting it to a recycling center, you’ll want to treat it with care for your safety and the safety of others. Even if the battery is completely dead, it still has enough juice to pose a potential fire risk.
Therefore, some precautions are necessary. Wrap the battery in a plastic shopping bag or garbage bag. Batteries are also notoriously dirty, so this will make things a little cleaner. As a fire precaution, it’s also wise to tape over the battery’s terminals with electrical tape. If you have to store the battery before disposal, put it in a metal, leakproof, and secure container.
What About Disposing Lithium-Ion Marine Batteries?
If you have a lithium-ion trolling motor battery, you may wonder if disposing of them is any different. Fortunately, while lithium and lead-acid marine batteries are quite different, the disposal process is roughly the same.
You should handle lithium-ion batteries, even dead ones, with care and bring them to a designated recycling center or the place you purchased them. Not every recycling center that takes lead-acid batteries can also dispose of lithium-ion batteries, so call ahead to ensure you’re not wasting a trip.