The Environmental Protection Agency compared recycling rates for a multitude of materials and found that lead-acid batteries had the highest recycling rate of all consumer products. The facts were published in a June 2015 EPA report titled Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: 2013 Fact Sheet. The report assessed the disposal and recycling trends in the USA. In a 2013 study within the report, the EPA found that the rate of lead-acid battery recovery was about 99 percent (2.85 million tons), the highest recycling rate over other products such as newspapers, yard trimmings, aluminum cans, tires, consumer electronics, glass, PET bottles and more.
“The recycling infrastructure for lead-acid batteries is a closed loop (cradle to cradle) system,” says Fred Wehmeyer, Senior Vice President of Engineering at U.S. Battery Manufacturing. “As an example, new flooded lead-acid batteries are manufactured from recycled raw materials and the safe delivery methods used to ship batteries worldwide are also the same methods used to return spent lead-acid batteries to be recycled. Throughout the years the process has become extremely refined and efficient, making it one of the most successful environmental reclamation systems in existence.”
According to the Battery Council International, a variety of processes go into recycling lead-acid batteries in which recycling facilities are controlled under some of the strictest U.S. EPA regulations. Innovative systems have been developed to capture all of the components of lead-acid batteries for recycling. For example, lead from spent batteries is smelted and refined to be reused to build new lead-acid batteries. The sulfuric acid electrolyte is also captured and neutralized during the recycling process and then processed into fertilizer.
With a high recycling rate and low operating cost, the FLA battery remains the best solution for most electrically powered vehicles such as golf cars, floor maintenance machines, access lifts, and other battery operated vehicles. It is also the most efficient technology for storing energy and has the longest track record for safety and reliability. So when you combine this with the highest recycling rates on the planet, it stands to reason that this 150-year-old technology has definitely evolved into an energy source that’s hard to beat.
For more information on flooded lead-acid batteries and battery recycling, contact U.S. Battery Manufacturing, 1675 Sampson Ave. Corona, CA 92879. (800) 695-0945. Visit https://www.usbattery.com.