We read a lot about lead-acid batteries recycling and how it is the most successful recycling program in America, where over 97 percent of lead acid batteries are recycled. But the question is why should we recycle or dispose of batteries correctly and not throw them out with our common household trash. The answer is that because lead is toxic.
Carelessly disposed batteries may end up in solid landfills where the lead may leach out to the environment. The effects of lead on the human body are plenty and painful. It can cause miscarriage in pregnant women, reduce sperm production, and damage the nervous system. Severe exposure can damage the brains and kidneys, causing death. Children are more sensitive to this damage than adults and no safe blood lead level exists for them. Lead is a cumulative poison, which means it keeps on adding or accumulating in our body and ecosystem upon exposure and causes ill health.
The fluid (electrolyte) in batteries is corrosive and can cause loss of eyesight if the battery explodes (which it can very easily if the negative and positive electrodes come in contact with each other). The plastic used in the casing also is not biodegradable and it is a good idea to recycle it.
The recycling of batteries gives extension to the limited resources of the earth, reduced monetary cost of lead production (around 35 % of mining costs), and energy conservation. Finally because they are classified as hazardous waste under the Hazardous Waste Act of 1989, they cannot be disposed of in normal garbage.