Through a coast-to-coast network of retail stores, service and distribution centers, spent batteries are collected, sorted and transported to recycling facilities for processing.
At the recycling facility, the battery is broken apart in a hammer mill, a machine that breaks the battery into pieces. The broken battery pieces then go into a vat, where the lead and heavy materials fall to the bottom while the plastic rises to the top. At this point, polypropylene pieces are scooped away and the liquids are drawn off, leaving the lead and heavy metals. Each of the materials then begins its own recycling journey.
With improved cooperation among stakeholders, increased research funding, and by following the circular economy example of lead batteries, the U.S. can regain domestic supply chain security and advance a low-carbon and renewable energy future.