Cash value of a used-up car battery?


Above post is most likely SPAM ! Poor writing, link to web site and not about the thread.
@cdaquila See above post.


George - I assume you are in San Jose. I’m in Oakland. O’Reilly Auto Parts gives me $10 for any old battery I bring in. Mostly I have motorcycle batteries from my old scooter buying habit, and they don’t sell those so I buy them on Ebay, but O’Reilly takes the dead ones anyway. Just walk in and ask.


Got it - gone. Thanks.


The last time I had a spare battery to discard (about 2000) the K-Mart in Bishop, California, paid $8. (I had found the battery discarded, I wasn’t replacing my pickup’s.) Some scrappers in Albuquerque take auto batteries.

Before the city started taking scrap metal in the recycling I’d save all my iron, steel (including cans), alumin(i)um, brass, copper, zinc and take it to a scrapper when I had enough and was passing by. I’d get about 8¢/pound for the steel, more for the rest of the stuff. They take electric motors, copper wire still in the insulation (they pay less, but it isn’t worth stripping usually). I can’t say it pays but I feel better keeping it out of the landfill.


Result: $12.50 from the local recycler place. Based on weight. If I’m not going there anyway, next time I’ll take any old car batteries to O’Reilly for $10 , based on @wentwest 's post above. Thanks for all the interesting & informative comments.


Just as a reminder many places offer hazardous waste disposal, ours includes lead acid batteries, nicad, lithium, or any rechargeable battery but Alkaline are considered regular garbage. I did try and talk them into a place that will recycle alkaline batteries, but for now they are considered garbage.


There are many rich people who got that way buying and selling scrap metal like used car batteries. They are living the good life while the nay-sayers are living in trailer parks


I guess since I am not rich you are saying I should sell my home and move into a trailer park.


Where’d this come from again? A battery saved is a battery earned?

Yeah the story of the scrap dealer in Minneapolis comes to mind from about 100 years ago, at least the way it was told to me. But he kinda didn’t have much choice. As a Jew, he was locked out of other opportunities and was a three time loser. Got staked by family three times to create a business and lost it, so was on his own. So started doing what no one else wanted to do and collected rags and scrap.

Takes a lot of batteries though at $5 to make any money. These days there are a lot of easier and more profitable ways to get out of the trailer park. I suggest looking for things that need doing but people don’t want to do and forget the batteries. They’re heavy.


Since we’re digging up an old battery thread, let’s go WAY back - remember Exide batteries? They go back to 1900, and were the invention that made electric cars practical at the time. Prior lead-acid batteries had much less capacity per pound. A thriving electric-powered cab service was set up in NYC, with charging stations spaced to allow for the frequent recharging needed.


Hey, a scrap thread! Haha. Right now batteries are around 30 cents/lb. The average car battery is about 30 lbs, I’d say. So around $9 per battery. These prices are from a small scrap yard in MS. I’m sure prices are better in larger municipalities.

If you don’t have time to get 9 bucks for your garbage…yeah, I dunno. I wouldn’t make a special trip for one battery, but cash for garbage is a pretty decent deal. Not sure why people complain about prices. If demand is low, price paid is low, and price received when sold by recycler is low. We actually had more margin when we were paying $220/ton than we do now that we’re paying $145/ton for shreddable steel scrap, believe it or not.

My house is paid for and I have zero debt. Not a trailer park guy, although I’ve partied there years ago with this one chick.

I just wanted to respond to the thread. Kinda in my wheelhouse. Believe it or not, most recyclers would love to be paying top dollar, but the mills aren’t paying well, and we’ve all got to make money. FYI, steel prices supposed to be up next month, then down again in Feb. Feel free to contact me for all your scrap queries, but I specialize in nonferrous! Have a good one!


We have scrappers that pick up anything metal for scrap left on the curb, I even helped load my 6 foot cast iron sink into his truck, as the bulk pickup in the city I live would not take cast iron. I would have retained the old world charm, but a can fell out of the cabinet above and took out a 4" chunk of porcelain.
I replaced the galvanized pipe in the house with cpvc, Had some scrapp from craigslist that wold come cut it out and remove it for free, wifee did not want a stranger in the house, 4 years later I have not gotten to it yet.


Yes, I’m with wifee there on the strangers. Some scrappers I’d trust. But there’s definitely a shady side to the business. And Craigslist as well, from what I’ve seen lol.

I’ve got stories out the wazoo. I should write a book some day lol.


Scrapyard_John … one question that has always intrigued me, at the local hardware store they sell 18 inch by 18 inch squares of steel, about 2.5 mm (can’t be more than 1 mm now I think about it) thick I’d guess, for – you may not believe this – $8.50 each. But that same 18 x 18 inch square of steel sheet metal would only be worth, what, 5 cents as scrap? 5 cents as scrap, $8.50 retail? How could the difference be that high?


Because it’s not scrap. It’s rolled to a specific thickness, possibly a finish put on it, and cut to size. Then it has shipment costs, and hardware store profit.

Home depot price for 1 ft x 2 ft 16 gage steel is $22. That’s 0.06 inch or 1.5 mm.

But if you were FMC buying that same steel, it probably would be pennies.


A few years ago US Army disposal of alkaline batteries was up to 150 pounds was normal garbage. I have no idea why there was a limit.


Steel at a hardware store or big box is extremely high priced. I buy my angles and tubing at a steel supply outfit for about of third of the price.


I’m not an economist, so not sure. A hefty markup at the hardware store, i suppose, and a lot of people getting their cut in between. We pay a guy bringing in steel, the mill pays us after we shred/shear/torch cut it, sort it, and ship it, the mill melts, forms, ships it sells to a manufacture who further forms, packages, ships it. Then they sell it to the hardware store who sells it to you. Everyone gets a cut, and it costs money for all of the involved companies to run machinery, turn on the lights, and run trucks down the road. I’m not sure who has the most margin, but I suspect the chain store.