How to put your dead battery to good use

There’s still a great deal of good they can do – for the environment, the economy and your own pocket.

Batteries are awesome.

They die. And then they live again. The lifecycle of vehicle batteries is fascinating, starting with leading edge manufacturing technology and ending with an ultra-sophisticated recycling process to jumpstart the next lifecycle. However, this near-self-sustaining and environmentally conscious process is only possible if consumers dispose of their old batteries in the appropriate manner.

What do you do with your old vehicle batteries? Do you dump them in the trash, stash them in the garage, or simply leave them wherever you get a replacement battery fitted? If you are aware that ‘dead’ car batteries still have quite a bit of life in them, perhaps you insist on squeezing out every last joule by using them to power lower output appliances. Electric and DIY enthusiasts, for instance, often come up with interesting uses for old car batteries, from powering home appliances like TVs, radios and fans, to building portable lighting solutions for photography or transforming them into portable solar power generators.

If you’re not the DIY type and have no idea what to do with your scrap batteries, you’ll be delighted to know that there’s still a great deal of good they can do – for the environment, the economy and your own pocket. Lead-acid batteries contain lead, plastic and sulphuric acid, all of which can be extremely harmful to the environment – and with over 12 million registered vehicles in South Africa, the importance of battery recycling is paramount. Thankfully, most of these components are well-suited to recycling.

All dead batteries are highly valued for the same thing – lead. This soft and malleable metal is not mined in South Africa and is extremely expensive to import. It is also highly toxic, which is why First National Battery, South Africa’s leading lead-acid battery manufacturer, through its Battery Centre franchise network, founded SA’s most effective scrap battery reclamation project. Through Scrap Battery, old batteries are collected from Battery Centres nationwide and sent for recycling. The recycling process is extremely effective and closely monitored. In fact, more than 90% of all scrap batteries in South Africa are recycled – making batteries one of the most recyclable consumer products on the market.

Also read: How to keep your car battery going for as long as possible 

“Recycling is a vital part of our business and is essential for the sustainability of the industry at large”, says First National Battery Marketing Director, Andrew Webb. “It’s a win-win situation that keeps toxic waste out of the environment, creates a reliable supply of raw materials for new batteries, and benefits customers with a trade-in value on old batteries”.

If you have scrap lead-acid batteries you would like to dispose of, call the scrap battery experts toll-free on 0800 333 462 or visit your nearest Battery Centre. It is an ideal opportunity to also get the health of your current car battery checked for free by SA’s trusted battery specialists.