Got a used car battery? Here's what to do with it


Words: Nicole Ferger

The disposal of batteries in SA is a key concern particularly when it comes to the recycling of lead acid batteries. For leading manufacturer and distributor of automotive and industrial batteries in South Africa, First National Battery, a wholly owned subsidiary of JSE listed, Metair Investments Limited, protecting the environment through correct battery use and disposal is essential.

First National Battery is an ISO 14001: 2004 certified company and through its franchise network, Battery Centre, provides consumers a convenient battery disposal solution for locally and internationally produced lead acid batteries.

“Importers of lead acid batteries don’t always share our sense of responsibility toward protecting the environment – and for this reason our Scrap Battery division is committed to recycling all scrap lead acid batteries across the country,” says First National Battery Automotive Marketing Director, Andrew Webb.

Not your regular refuse
Discarding your used car battery in domestic refuse isn’t the best way to get rid of it. The lead, plastic and acid in the batteries can be extremely harmful to the environment if not properly disposed of correctly.

Recycling of lead acid batteries is vital to sustainability, waste management and reducing the risk and impact of pollution to our habitat. “Our 120 Battery Centre franchises across the country are drop-off points for lead acid batteries that need to be recycled. For large volumes of scrap batteries, make use of Scrap Battery’s free collection service by contacting Battery Centre or call toll free 0800 333 462 for assistance. Through recycling with us, when you purchase a new battery on the one for one exchange basis you will not pay the lead surcharge that’s usually added to the purchase price,” says Webb.

Scrap Battery collects scrap sealed lead acid batteries as well as lead acid vehicle starter and industrial batteries. “Scrap Battery buys used lead acid batteries based on a number of variables, and we pride ourselves on offering competitive prices per kilo,” adds Webb.

Other rechargeable battery types (as used in cell phones, laptops, calculators and toys) can be placed in collection bins currently offered by major retailers in South Africa. “More than 90% of all scrap batteries in SA are recycled. Scrap Battery is proud to be at the forefront of recycling efforts and through Battery Centre, will continue to educate and encourage South Africans to recycle used lead acid batteries,” says Webb.

Recognise when it’s replacement time

The following warning signs can suggest the need to replace your car’s battery:
•Your engine is slow to start
•The battery light on the panel indicates battery discharge for extended periods
•Your battery seems to lose power quickly in cold or extended starts
•Your headlights dim at idle

“Any of these signals can indicate early signs of battery failure. It’s always best to contact your nearest Battery Centre to have your battery and vehicle electrical system tested for free by a battery specialist and get a definitive diagnosis,” concludes Webb.

For more information on Scrap Battery and to see if you are eligible for Scrap Batteries free collection service, visit or call toll free 0800 333 462.Visit for more information about Battery Centre and the full range of batteries on offer.