Thankfully, there aren't many old dead batteries out there, either in garages or landfills. Car batteries have one of the highest rates of recycling and reuse of any automotive part.
About 100 million automotive batteries are replaced each year in the U.S. Through American Automobile Association (AAA) operations, with AAA-branded batteries produced by East P:enn, and through Great Battery Roundup collection events, it has recycled nearly 90 million pounds of lead and about 12 million pounds of plastic, from more than four million batteries.
According to the AAA about 97 percent of the lead in those batteries is recyclable and can be reused in the production of new batteries; the plastic can be recycled and reused in new batteries as well. Sulfuric acid, the other main component in automotive batteries—and a hazard if left sitting around—can be repurposed, neutralized, or converted to sodium sulfate for fertilizer or dyes.
Just this year, the AAA anticipates that it will replace and recycle another one million batteries through its roadside services alone.