With an estimated 248 million vehicles on the road in North America, the proper use and disposal of vehicle batteries, tires and various types of automotive fluids are crucial to a healthy environment. Often, lead-acid vehicle batteries clutter up garages, backyards and storage sheds and create a potential an environmental safety hazard. Over time, they could contaminate soil and ground water, explode in a fire or become a source of lead poisoning to people and pets. Even worse, some used batteries are illegally disposed of in dumps, often mixed with household garbage.
When handling batteries, your should wear gloves and safety glasses, and keep the batteries upright and in a sturdy box or plastic container for transport to a recycling facility. If the battery case is cracked or leaking, be especially careful to choose a leak-proof container. Do not smoke around the battery (which gives off small amounts of hydrogen gas), or expose the batteries to an open flame, and when transporting a battery, make certain that it will not shift and tip over in a moving vehicle.
You can usually dispose of a battery at a Canadian Automobile Association approved repair shop, and many municipal fire departments facilitate a "spring cleaning" of household toxic substances like paint, fertilizers and batteries, to ensure they are properly disposed of or recycled.