To recycle a car battery for cash, take the used battery to a scrap yard, dealership or participating auto parts retailer. Some new car battery retailers take deposits at the time of purchase and return payouts upon return of the batteries. Car batteries and car battery lead are the most recycled products in the United States, with more than a 98-percent rate of recycling as of 2015.
Recycling facilities break used batteries into components, including plastic, lead and electrolytes. Manufacturers make new battery cases and covers from the recycled materials of old car batteries. A typical new car battery contains up to 80-percent recycled plastic, electrolyte and lead. Recycling centers either neutralize old battery acid, or sulfuric acid, with an industrial compound or convert it into sodium sulfate, which is used in consumer products such as glass, textile manufacturing and laundry detergent.
A good resource to consult is the iScrap App, which finds nearby scrap yards by city, state or ZIP code via the search feature. Auto parts stores, service shops, dealerships and scrap yards recycle car batteries in accordance with regional and state laws, as well as battery manufacturer specifications. Service shops must have proper certification before they collect or ship batteries for recycling.