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Lead-Acid Batteries

What You Need to Know About Lead-Acid Battery Recycling

  • Cars, trucks, recreational vehicles and boats all use lead-acid batteries. It is illegal to dispose of the battery in your trash.
  • If not properly handled, lead-acid batteries can leak contaminants into soil and water.
  • Instead, you must take your dead battery for recycling to a retail store, distributor, or battery recycling facility.
  • Retailers are required by law to accept used batteries from customers and distributors must accept used batteries from their retailers.

When Purchasing a New Lead-acid Battery:

  • You can give your used battery for recycling to a retailer at the time you purchase a new one.
  • The retailer will charge you a $5 "return incentive payment" if you do not return a used battery when buying a replacement.
  • The retailer, who sold you the battery, will refund the $5 payment if you return a used battery within 30 days of the purchase date.

Retailers and Distributors Must:

  • Accept, free of charge, up to two used batteries per month from any individual
  • Post signs displaying the universal recycling symbol and stating the following: "IT IS ILLEGAL TO DISCARD VEHICLE BATTERIES. STATE LAW REQUIRES US TO ACCEPT VEHICLE BATTERIES FREE OF CHARGE FOR RECYCLING".
  • Retailers can legally keep unredeemed payments

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    Divison of Materials Management
    Bureau of Waste Reduction & Recycling
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    Albany, NY 12233-7253
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