The Circular Lead Battery Recycling Industry

Millions of used batteries conclude their lifespan each year. When they do, the lead battery recycling industry collects and processes spent batteries into valuable new raw materials. The sustainable circular economy of our industry has helped lead batteries achieve a 99% recycling rate in the U.S., making them the most sustainable battery chemistry on the planet.

Recycling rates in the United States chart

Association of Battery Recyclers (ABR)

Large-scale battery recycling is critical work and a major technical and environmental achievement. ABR members include a network of companies whose modern lead battery recycling facilities keep the lead in lead batteries infinitely recyclable, with no loss of quality or performance, to meet the material supply needs of North American battery manufacturers.

Lead Battery Recycling Industry Overview Map

Follow the Seven-Step Lead Battery Recycling Process

Unlike other battery chemistries, even the most advanced lead batteries are made of minimal componentry. In short, lead batteries are made to be remade. Here’s how a used lead battery from one application gets turned into a new battery – or into raw materials for entirely different products.

Lead Battery Recycling Industry Process

Creating Valuable New Products from Recycled Lead Batteries

Products Made from Recycled Lead:

  • Transportation and recreational vehicle batteries
  • Renewable energy storage batteries
  • Logistics and warehousing batteries
  • Utility, industrial and residential power batteries
  • Medical equipment and support batteries
  • Security and public safety batteries
  • Marine and watersport batteries
  • Construction equipment and tool batteries
  • X-ray and medical radiation protection

Products Made from Recycled Plastic:

  • Lead battery cases
  • Paint cans
  • Injection molded automotive plastic parts
X-ray and medical radiation protection made from recycled lead batteries

Powering Impressive Impact

The U.S. lead battery recycling industry creates significant environmental, economic and national security benefits, with no slow-down in sight. Between 2020–2030, lead battery global market growth will exceed 80,000 MWh, and the recycling industry will be here to ensure that this growth is sustainable.

Lead Battery Recycling Industry Workers

Lead Battery Industry’s Economic Impact

  • Provides 25,000 good-paying, green jobs.
  • Provides 92,000 subsidiary jobs.
  • Makes a $26.3 billion economic impact.

Lead Battery Recycling Industry’s Environmental Impact

  • Prevents 130 million lead batteries from going to landfills annually.
  • Employs highly efficient recovery processes that ensure nearly all the material in a spent battery is recovered to make raw materials for new batteries.
  • On average, a new lead battery contains 80% recycled material obtained from battery recyclers.
  • Domestic recyclers reduce the need to ship spent batteries to countries with lower environmental and health-protection standards, protecting communities everywhere.

Lead Battery Industry Impact on National Security

  • 62% of U.S. lead demand is met by U.S. lead battery recyclers.
  • Without domestic lead battery recycling, the U.S. would need to import 1.6 million tons of lead.
  • The domestic battery recycling industry helps maintain the United States’ ability to power itself and minimizes supply chain disruptions for consumers.
Lead Battery Recycling Industry Recycled Lead