EPA Funding for Battery Recycling Integral to Scrap Handling, Says CEO

The Agency is looking for public comment on battery recycling best practices as it develops voluntary battery labeling guidelines.

Call2Recycle is an Atlanta, Georgia-based nonprofit that operates the nation’s largest consumer battery recycling program. The company is a middleman in the recycling industry and was created primarily to keep batteries out of landfills, raise awareness and improve safety measures in the supply chain, such as preventing the risk of fire. This recycled over 8 million pounds of batteries in 2020.

The EPA funding is the biggest investment in the sector, Leo Raudys, CEO of Call2Recycle, a former regulator and instructor of sustainability and regulatory strategy courses at the University of Minnesota, has seen.

It’s also part of the piece in the context of what the government is doing to deal with the management of scrap materials, Raudys told MINING.com.

“The EPA funding is quite exciting because it will really, I think, accelerate the work that needs to be done to recycle more and more batteries and understand what we’ve been doing for almost 30 years,” Raudys said.

Its core business is coordinating recycling collection points and the company oversees public education programs and coordinates pickups – they have over 16,000 recycling locations in the United States alone.

“Technology is in some ways, of all the things we need to do to get recycling done, it’s the easiest thing, but when it comes to recycling batteries, it’s about behavior. human,” said Raudys.

The daily lesson is don’t throw the batteries in the household waste – they recycle the waste.

“When you look at the demand for the metals that we need to make more batteries, create clean energy technologies and put electric vehicles on the road, the demand for those metals is going to increase by several factors – a lot of that will continue. to be provided by the raw materials – mining,” Raudys said. “But increasingly it has to come from recycling. The demand is so high.”

“When you take a substance out of the earth and put it into materials, the last thing you want to do is put it in a landfill,” he said. “You actually want to get it back, because these metals can have, essentially, an infinite lifespan.”

“We’re not going to supply materials just by extracting minerals – it has to be a combination of things. It’s just reality.