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What You Need to Know About Core Charges for Batteries

Proper disposal of batteries is increasingly vital as the world recognizes the environmental impact of waste. This article will cover the specifics of battery core charges, including old battery disposal and managing core charges when buying or returning batteries. By comprehending the purpose of core charges and managing them appropriately, we can all promote sustainable practices and safeguard the environment.
Stephanie Lawrence
Stephanie Lawrence
03/09/2023 · 5 min read
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As the world becomes more aware of the environmental impact of waste, it is more important than ever to dispose of items such as batteries properly. 

In this article, we’ll go over the specific details of battery core charges, such as what happens to old batteries and how to handle core charges when purchasing and returning batteries. 

Understanding the purpose of core charges and how to handle them properly can assist us all in contributing to more sustainable practices and protecting our environment.

Key Takeaways

  • Improper battery disposal can cause environmental damage and waste resources
  • Core charges are a way to encourage proper recycling or refurbishing of old batteries
  • Core charges are refundable deposits that are returned when the old battery is returned
  • It’s important to handle core charges correctly when buying and returning batteries to get your deposit back

Table of Contents

What Is Core Charge For Batteries?

A core charge is a required fee imposed by law in most states to encourage proper battery disposal. Each state has a different minimum deposit amount, which can be found using BCI’s State Recycling Laws resource. Core management is not a one-size-fits-all process, and fees and procedures may differ from state to state. 

It is important to note that the core charge is a deposit that will be returned to you if you return your old battery, equivalent to the one you purchased. This encourages responsible battery recycling or refurbishment and helps to keep hazardous waste out of landfills.

Why Do You Need to Pay a Core Charge for Batteries?

A core charge is required for batteries for environmental benefits and legal requirements.

Environmental Benefits 

The core charge is intended to encourage responsible battery disposal and recycling, as batteries can be hazardous to the environment if not correctly disposed of. Sellers can ensure that old batteries are properly recycled or refurbished by offering an incentive to return them, avoiding them ending up in landfills, where they can leak harmful chemicals into the soil and groundwater.

Different Laws Per State in the USA

Second, most states in the United States require core charges for batteries. Each state has its minimum deposit amount and core management regulations. These regulations ensure proper battery disposal and help reduce the risk of environmental damage. It should be noted that core management and fees and procedures may differ by state. 

However, paying the core charge is required to purchase a new battery and can aid in environmental protection. In addition, you can get your deposit back and contribute to a more sustainable future by returning the old battery.

How Much Is a Core Charge For Batteries?

The core charge for batteries varies depending on the type of battery and the seller, but it is typically between $10 and $20. However, the core charge of larger or more specialized batteries may be higher.

Is The Core Charge Refunded?

A core is any equivalent part to be recycled and returned to the store. The amount charged for the deposit will be refunded to the customer upon returning an equivalently sized battery. This deposit encourages people to return their old car and truck batteries to be disposed of properly. It is essential to recycle lead-acid batteries for the sake of the environment and your health.

What Happens To The Old Batteries?

Returned batteries are usually taken to a recycling or refurbishing facility. Recycling involves:

  • Separating the batteries into components that can be reused, whereas refurbishing consists of cleaning.
  • Inspecting.
  • Repairing the batteries so that they can be used again.

The goal is to reduce the environmental impact of battery production and disposal, conserve resources, and promote environmentally responsible practices.

How To Handle Core Charges When Buying and Returning Batteries

A core charge is a deposit that must be paid when purchasing a new battery and is refundable when the old battery is returned to the seller. You must return the same old battery, not a different one, and that it is equivalent to the new one you purchased. Please do so to avoid the loss of your deposit. The timeframe for returning the old battery varies by store, so check with them first.


In conclusion, a core charge is a deposit required when purchasing a new battery that can be refunded when the old battery is returned to the seller. It’s essential to comply with the store’s specific guidelines, which include returning the same old battery, ensuring it’s equivalent to the new one, and returning it within the specified timeframe. You can receive your deposit back while contributing to the responsible recycling and refurbishment of old batteries, which helps reduce the environmental impact of battery production and disposal and promote sustainable practices.

FAQs About Core Charge For Batteries

Is the core charge the same as a deposit?

Yes, the core charge is a deposit required when purchasing a new battery.

What happens if I don’t return the old battery?

You will only receive a core charge refund if you return the old battery within the specified timeframe. Check with your local store for how long you must return the old battery.

Can I get a core charge refund if the old battery is damaged?

The refund is generally dependent on the condition of the old battery. For example, if the old battery is damaged, you may not be eligible for a core charge refund.

Can I reuse or sell my old battery instead of returning it?

It is generally advised to return the old battery to the seller because they are responsible for properly disposing of or refurbishing the batteries. Selling or reusing old batteries may be unsafe and cause environmental damage.

Do I need to remove the battery from my car before returning it? 

You do not need to remove the battery from your car before returning it because the seller will usually do so. It is, however, best to confirm the seller’s policies and guidelines.

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