Blog | November 15, 2017

Essential Energy Everyday Loves Recycling

National Recycling Day

Every year, America Recycles Day encourages Americans to pledge to be better environmental stewards by reducing waste and recycling items like plastic bottles, newspapers, plastic bags and soda cans. For the 20,000+ employees of the lead battery industry, a commitment to the environment is an essential part of what we practice today and every other day of the year.

That’s why we are excited to announce the findings of the latest National Recycling Rate Study on a day when thousands of other environmentally conscious citizens are making an extra effort to recycle. You may be surprised to learn that according to the EPA, lead batteries have the highest recycling rate among all consumer products. In fact, today we are pleased to announce that the recycling rate for lead batteries is 99.3 percent, according to Battery Council International (BCI).

“Our goal for the lead battery manufacturing process is to collect and recycle and reuse lead batteries and their components. In essence, to create a ‘closed-loop industry’ that significantly reduces the demand on global resources,” said Mark Thorsby, executive vice president of BCI.

“On average, a new lead battery is comprised of more than 80 percent recycled material,” added Thorsby. “Every part of the battery, from lead and plastic to sulfuric acid is recyclable and reusable in manufacturing new batteries. This reduces the need for new lead mining, reduces waste and helps keep lead out of landfills.”

With energy demands growing by the day, sustainable energy storage solutions like lead batteries are more important than ever. As the most accessible and highly-sustainable battery technology, lead batteries’ innovative uses also reduce CO2 emissions in vehicles through start-stop battery technology, help power hybrid and electric vehicles and enable smart grid technology that improves the reliability of wind and solar farms. Lead batteries also provide essential energy storage to power millions of cars, buses, airplanes, trains and logistics networks as well as power backup recovery systems that protect life, investments and data in emergency situations.

When we think of the 3Rs and the environment, they are Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.  The lead battery industry’s circular economy is a perfect example: Reduce the number of batteries that go to landfills; reuse 100 percent of the lead battery components; and recycle those same components into new batteries.

So as you make your plans for America Recycles Day, we hope you will help us spread the word about the industry’s noteworthy recycling record by:

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Tim Fister from the Argonne National Laboratory

There's a lot of room for growth in ... lead battery chemistry ... it's something that would really make it even more competitive for things like stationary storage.

Dr. Tim Fister, Materials Scientist, Argonne National Laboratory