If you have ever walked past a car on the side of a road, you have probably wondered: is it legal to throw car batteries in the ocean? On one hand, throwing away car batteries may seem like an insignificant thing. But on the other hand, it can be a huge environmental concern when you think about how many millions of batteries are thrown away every year. The answer depends on where you live and if your local laws allow citizens to dispose of old batteries safely. There are some states where throwing used car batteries in the trash is not allowed, which means that there are certain things you cannot do with them. These include putting them in your yard or dumping them in a river or lake. In other words, throwing car batteries into oceans or lakes is not illegal per se – but it may be against local laws for a number of reasons depending on where you live. Let’s take a look at what we know…
Is It Legal To Throw Car Batteries In The Ocean?
It is not legal to throw car batteries in the ocean. Battery disposal is an important part of protecting our environment and preventing harmful chemicals from entering the water. When batteries are disposed of correctly, they can be recycled and used again.
How Many Car Batteries Are Discarded Annually?
- 3.1 billion batteries were discarded in the U.S. in 2011. That’s 20 percent more than was thrown away in 2009. The number of battery types being discarded increased by 8 percent during that same time period. There are approximately 100 different kinds of batteries used by vehicles today. They include AA, AAA, C, and D size batteries as well as larger ones designed for deep-cycle applications such as golf cart and forklift batteries. The total figure is relatively large, but it’s not a major environmental problem.
- Battery waste is toxic to human health and the environment in general. There are strict guidelines on where you can dump old car batteries. Don’t throw them into rivers or lakes around you or any water sources that people may use for drinking water. Check with your local government to find out what happens to old batteries when they are no longer being used. Some car manufacturers put them through the proper channels in order for their used car batteries to be reused or recycled properly; other companies do not take part in these programs at all.
- The answer depends on where you live and how much it costs you to dispose of them correctly for reuse and recycling purposes. In Pennsylvania, it’s illegal under state law to throw old car batteries into rivers or lakes if they contain mercury or lead. If you live in Pennsylvania, you will have to contact local hazardous waste management companies at least two weeks before you drop your disposable batteries off for disposal. They can be turned into usable materials that can be used again in the future. For example, in Pennsylvania, it is illegal to throw used car batteries in the state of Pennsylvania.
- DC’s Recycling and Recovery Act gives citizens who wish to dispose of their used car batteries a chance to do so in a more environmentally-friendly way than just throwing them into trash cans. The law is supposed to help prevent mercury and lead from turning up on soil or waterways. Be sure to check with your local recycling facility where you can turn used car batteries into reusable materials such as steel plates, copper sheets, and cable insulation that allows energy companies to use these items for power generation
What Can You Throw In A River?
- Cars and car batteries contain toxic materials such as lead, mercury, and lead acid. If you live in a state where you shouldn’t be throwing these items into rivers or lakes, don’t throw them in high-risk locations. Car batteries can leak acids or fluids that may cause stains on items that are within close proximity of their origin
- Now that you know the obvious dangers associated with throwing car batteries into water sources, let’s take a look at ways car batteries can harm humans. In order to show you exactly how car batteries are dangerous to humans, we will use the EPA’s analysis of lead emissions. EPA Lead Emissions Conclusion
- Car battery manufacturers must comply with strict emission control standards. The purpose of these controls is to reduce lead emissions that exceed the total limit allowed by law. Although none of these actions alone will eliminate lead emissions completely, together they will be designed to greatly reduce the number of lead emissions found in the air and water surrounding your home or business.
- While it may be impossible to completely stop mercury and lead from reaching a certain location where they are harmful, there are steps you can take to help limit their effects on human health and the environment when they drop off old batteries in waterways. Taking care of them properly and taking precautions is key when disposing of used car batteries so that others don’t come in contact with them.
What Happens To Car Batteries In Some States?
California has a ban on the disposal of lead-acid batteries in most waterways. Lead-acid batteries are regulated by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and California’s Hazardous Waste Management Act.
Florida prohibits the disposal of used lead-acid batteries in most waterways, but some other states do not have this ban. However, you should not throw them into lakes or rivers because there is no way to confirm that they are safe to be disposed of in these locations. There is also no way to tell what will happen if you throw them into these waters; however, it is not recommended that you do so.
Illinois prohibits the dumping of used lead-acid batteries in landfills or on roadside ditches and requires businesses that dispose of these types of items to obtain a hazardous waste permit from their local health department or county officials. They also require businesses that dispose of lead-acid batteries to submit a report detailing how many car batteries they disposed of during a specific period each year as well as how many they did not dispose of during this same period. This information is then submitted to the Illinois Pollution Control Board’s Hazardous Waste Emergency Response Center (HWERC).
Where Is It Illegal To Throw Car Batteries?
- In the ocean, rivers, lakes, or reservoirs.
- In a stream or river that flows into a lake or reservoir.
- In any area where you are prohibited from disposing of hazardous wastes (e.g., into another person’s trash or dumpster).
- In any area that is posted with signs prohibiting the disposal of hazardous wastes (e.g., on landfills, roadsides, and highways).
- On top of other wastes because it may become mixed with other wastes and contaminate groundwater used for drinking water supplies if you mix these materials with other garbage in a landfill or roadside ditch during garbage collection days (i.e., when trash trucks pick up residential garbage for disposal in landfills).
- On top of other wastes because it may contaminate groundwater used for drinking water supplies if you mix these materials with other garbage in a landfill or roadside ditch during garbage collection days (i.e., when trash trucks pick up residential garbage for disposal in landfills).
- In any area where it is prohibited from disposing of hazardous wastes (e.g., on landfills, roadsides, and highways) or where it is illegal to dispose of any type of waste (e.g., on landfills, roadsides, and highways).
- In any area that is posted with signs prohibiting the disposal of hazardous wastes (e.g., on landfills, roadsides, and highways) or that is otherwise prohibited from disposing of hazardous wastes (e.g., on landfills, roadsides, and highways).
The bottom line is: do not throw your car batteries in the ocean. Doing so poses a serious threat to marine life and is illegal in many places. If you absolutely must dispose of old batteries, keep them out of the water and out of landfills. There are many alternatives to disposing of batteries that pose significantly less risk than throwing them away. You can donate or recycle your batteries, sell them online or at a local car repair shop, or take them to a battery exchange facility. There are also many companies that will recycle old batteries for you, so you don’t have to deal with the hassle of disposing of them yourself.