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Batteries - Management & Disposal for Businesses
(For individuals and households, look here: household battery recycling and disposal )
If you are at this EHSO web page, then you are a business or government agency (if you are an individual, family, home, etc., click here for that information!) and either have batteries that you need to dispose, or you want to implement a program to manage your batteries proactively. In both cases, we have gathered information here to assist you in managing your batteries to reduce problems and costs, and then to find a legal and cost-effective means of disposal for them. You may also find this pdf document from the EPA about the Battery Recycing Act for batteries containing mercury to be useful.
Used Battery Disposal
What can you do wi and either have batteries that you need to dispose, or you want to implement a program to manage your batteries proactively. In both cases, we have gathered information here to assist you in managing your batteries to reduce problems and costs, and then to find a legal and cost-effective means of disposal for them. You may also find this pdf document from the EPA about the Battery Recycing Act for batteries containing mercury to be useful.
Used Battery Disposal
What can you do with them, legally? It depends upon the type of battery. Most car, truck, motorcycle, boat etc. batteries are "lead acid" batteries; which means they are considered to be a hazardous waste due to (you guessed it) lead and acid. Many smaller home batteries (especially old ones) contain mercury. Rechargables are usually nickel and cadmium. The Universal Waste regulations (May 11, 1995) affected batteries as a hazardous waste (see 40 CFR 273.2).
A transporter of spent lead-acid batteries must ensure that the batteries are loaded and braced properly so as to prevent any damage, leakage of lead dust or battery fluid, or short circuits. A bill of lading or Hazardous Waste Manifest is to accompany the shipment and must be retained for three years to record shipment.
Damaged batteries can be transported with intact batteries when properly contained. Battery reclaimers have recommended that damaged batteries be stored and transported in two six millimeter polyethylene plastic bags. These batteries can be transferred along with intact spent batteries. If a cap is missing from a spent battery, it should be replaced.
For further information regarding the transport of spent lead-acid batteries, contact the U.S. Department of Transportation, Motor Carrier Safety Office.
So, first off, see if you can have it recycled. How and where? Try this list:
Is your recycling firm not listed below? Click here to add it free!
Lead/Acid Battery Recycling Traders and Recyclers
Battery Recyclers & Disposal Facilities
|Roll-Off Container Service ||Moble Car Crusher|
Only dealing with contracts in a 300 mile radius around Guelph, Ontario.
We do not export materials.
Auto & Truck Lead/Acid Battery Scrap (Benchmark)
Drained Lead/Acid Battery Scrap
Steel Cased Lead/Acid Battery Scrap
Glass Cased Lead/Acid Battery Scrap
Other Lead/Acid Battery Scrap|
Lead/Acid Battery Recycling Category
Exchange Index | Policies & Procedures | Used Equipment / Items
Kinsbursky Brothers, Inc./Alkin Precious Metals, Inc.
1314 North Lemon Street
Anaheim, CA 92801
Contact: Todd Coy or Michael Margolies
RSR Quemetco, Inc.
720 South 7th Avenue
City of Industry, CA 91745
Contact: Danny Rosellini
If you can not get the battery recycled, it will probably meet the definition of a hazardous waste - dispose of it illegally (i.e., not through a licensed facility) and you could go to jail.
Battery Management Programs
Each year, over 2 billion used batteries are disposed into solid waste facilities in the United States. This constitutes 88% of the mercury and 54% of the cadmium deposited into US solid waste landfills. This represents a potential long-term threat to groundwater and drinking water supplies. Consequently, the system that is used to manage these batteries should promote source reduction, recycling, and proper disposal. These options, and their hierarchy, are the keys to pollution prevention; and for a business, that is the key for compliance and cost reduction.
This page is largely reproduced from the US EPA Office of Administration's information. It outlines the overall steps that may be followed when organizing a battery recycling plan. The steps include analyzing your facilitys waste streams, examining all administrative issues associated with the program, evaluating battery recyclers, and educating your facilitys employees on the benefits of a battery recycling program. In addition, this pamphlet discusses some pollution prevention opportunities present in battery recycling, methods for measuring the programs progress, and resources that are available to each facility.
There are EPA facilities which have implemented battery recycling programs as part of their pollution prevention efforts. Each facility that makes the decision to implement battery recycling programs will help protect the environment. The US EPA Office of Administration (OA) has spoken with several facilities that have implemented battery recycling programs at their respective facilities and gathered their responses. This page provides some key information from their experiences.
IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES AND OPPORTUNITIES
How do you begin a battery management program? Have you analyzed your facilitys process streams, including procurement, usage, and disposal? The types and quantities of batteries that are present in each stream should be identified. By doing this, you will be able to customize a battery management program that meets your facilitys needs.
What planning or administrative issues need to be addressed? The facility should conduct a battery needs assessment to determine where batteries are essential and where they might be eliminated. Once battery needs are established, there are significant factors which must be considered prior to implementation of the battery management program. These could include selecting and procuring the collection containers, sorting the batteries prior to submission to the recycler, and providing temporary storage space for the batteries.
For example, where will the collection containers be located? One central collection point could be established or multiple collection points could be provided. Smaller facilities or facilities that use fewer batteries should consider using a central collection point. Larger facilities or those facilities that use more batteries might want to consider using multiple collection points. No matter which method you use, your program should be structured so that it is easy for employees to participate in it.
How do you choose a battery recycler? One of the most important aspects of a successful battery recycling program is the battery recycler. Battery recyclers should be contacted and reviewed by management to see if they can fulfill the facilitys recycling program needs. When evaluating a battery recycler, you should consider the following crite-ria. Does the recycler have a permit or state certification to be a battery recycler? What types of batteries will the re-cycler take? What are the re-cycling and disposal prac-tices of the recycler? How long has the recycler been in business? It is important that the recycler you choose is a state-certified recycler who practices environmentally sound recycling methods. Find out information on the recycling methods of the recycler to help ensure that your facility is not paying for irresponsible practices such as dumping or improper recycling. What costs will be incurred by the facility for the recycling services? How available is the recycler to your facility and how frequent are its collections? These and other topics should be used as evaluation guidelines to enable you to select the recycler that is right for your facility.
How do you communicate the benefits of the program to your employees? The benefits of the battery recycling program must be conveyed to employees if the program is to be successful. Many people have and are continuing to learn about recycling programs through educational tools. These tools include pamphlets, electronic and other printed material, seminars, and posters. Increased public education and awareness about recycling programs can enhance the success of your program.
Rechargeable batteries. The use of recyclable batteries in many devices can help to reduce the quantity of batteries disposed by your facility. By reducing the amount of batteries procured and disposed of, you can help reduce the amount of environmentally harmful wastes discharged by your facility and also save money. The following table provides a cost analysis for a typical rechargeable battery as compared to disposable batteries over a three-year period.
Cost Analysis for Rechargeable vs. Disposable Batteries*
Battery Type Batteries Produced Initial Procurement Cost Per Battery Total Procurement Costs Hazardous Waste Disposal 3-year Cost Savings Rechargeable
* Soviero, Marcelle, "Batteries Come Clean," Popular Science, July 1992, v241, n1.
Although the disposable batterys initial procurement cost per battery is about 6.7 percent of the rechargeable battery, its total procurement costs, over the three-year period, are almost 60 times the rechargeable batterys costs. Using the rechargeable battery produced a cost savings of $639 from procurement alone and resulted in 89 fewer grams of hazardous waste to dispose of than its disposable counterpart. Source reduction is one of the keys to pollution prevention. Substituting rechargeable batteries for conventional batteries can reduce the number of batteries procured and disposed by a facility.
Battery Inventorying. In addition, a battery recycling program could enable your facility to maintain an inventory of the batteries procured, used, recycled, and disposed within the facility. This can be accomplished through establishing policies to require that old batteries be exchanged to obtain new ones. By doing this, an efficient record of all batteries used can be maintained, and facilities can ensure that batteries are being recycled and not disposed as waste. Spreadsheet and computer database programs can be used to establish an inventory system.
Centralized Procurement. Furthermore, the procurement of batteries could be centralized through one location. This could make the procurement, usage and disposal of batteries more efficient by minimizing waste due to over procurement or shelf-life expiration. This is an example of a source reduction pollution prevention initiative.
It is important to measure the progress of your battery recycling program. This will enable you to see the actual performance of your program. For example, by maintaining an accurate record of the batteries procured, used, recycled, and disposed, you will be able to gain a realistic sense of the type, amount, and number of batteries in each of these process streams. Using this information, you can measure the progress of the program in a variety of ways, such as:
Number or percentage of batteries sent to recycler
Number or percentage of batteries reused
Number or percentage of batteries sent for disposal
Number or percentage of rechargeable batteries procured
Dollars saved in procurement and disposal costs using rechargeable batteries.
Using this information, the facility can establish and measure its progress toward these goals.
There are several qualitative topics which could be assessed during a typical progress measurement session. These topics include program costs and perfor-mance, employee participation, benefits realized and problems experienced, recycler service and performance, and other topics which the facility deems appropriate. When evaluating the programs progress, you should consider the following questions.
What percentage of employees who use batteries are participating in the program?