Fact Sheet for Oregon
BACK to VIRTUAL TOUR
The following fact sheet was prepared by the ECAR Center staff. Once prepared, each ECAR Center fact sheet undergoes a review process with the applicable state environmental agency(ies). You can check on the status of the review process here. Please read the disclaimer on the status page. While we have tried to present a summary of the essential information on this topic, you should be aware that other items, such as local regulations, may apply to you.
What You Need to Know
Because batteries contain lead and sulfuric acid, lead-acid battery disposal is fully regulated as a hazardous waste management activity. When intact lead-acid batteries are recycled, the handling requirements are relaxed, but the batteries are still subject to limited hazardous waste regulations. This fact sheet will tell you:
Automotive recyclers who generate, collect, transport, store, or regenerate lead-acid batteries for reclamation purposes may be exempt from certain hazardous waste management requirements. The basic rule of thumb is that the batteries must be either reclaimed either through regeneration or another means. If the batteries are not reclaimed, you must follow the hazardous waste regulations.
In Oregon, it is illegal to dispose of lead-acid batteries in solid waste disposal sites, or landfills. Battery retailers and wholesalers are required to accept used batteries for recycling. You can trade in as many used lead-acid batteries as you purchase from the retailer. In addition, through 1993, retailers must accept at least one lead-acid battery from you for recycling, even if you do not purchase a new battery.
Battery Storage. Indoor storage is preferable to outdoor storage to avoid contact with water and to avoid extreme temperatures that can cause cracking. Rain, snow, and draining water should not enter the storage area.
Improper storage practices can result in potential violations to the Federal Clean Water Act, as well as violations of state and local water quality laws.
Stacking and Packaging Batteries. Package lead-acid batteries in accordance with federal DOT regulations and/or get assistance from a battery specialist who is shipping spent batteries out of state for recycling.
Disposal. You cannot dispose of lead-acid batteries in landfills, nor incinerate them. You may only send lead-acid batteries to a lead-acid battery retailer or wholesaler, a permitted secondary lead smelter, or a collection or recycling facility authorized by the federal Environmental Protection Agency or the DEQ.
You should transport spent batteries to battery retailers on a monthly basis. Battery handlers should arrange for shipping at least once every six months, depending on the volume accumulated.
Response to Releases. Should your batteries leak onto the ground, you must immediately contain all releases and determine whether any material resulting from the release is hazardous waste. If so, you must manage the hazardous waste in compliance with all applicable laws. Here are some tips to prevent releases:
Links to the Regulations. Use the following links to view the regulations pertaining to battery management.
All battery handlers are required to manage the batteries and other solid waste generated from battery activities according to specific parameters and procedures. If so, ensure that batteries are stored on a non-reactive, impermeable and curbed surface. Coat asphalt or concrete storage surfaces with an acid-resistant epoxy, fiberglass or plastic coating. To avoid releases of lead contaminated acid, make sure that there are no floor drains which lead outdoors or which connect to sewer systems, storm drains, or septic tanks. Keep a log of your weekly inspections when you check for leaks or cracks. Keep cracked or leaking batteries in closed containers that are acid-resistant and leak proof, away from non-leaking batteries. Contain and neutralize all spills. Ensure outdoor battery storage is designed so no weather elements can get in.
Most regulations tell you what you have to do to be in compliance, but they don't explain how to do it. That's where "best management practices" come into play. BMPs are proven methods that help you to get into compliance and stay there. The following BMPs are recommended for battery storage areas and management procedures.