News | April 22, 2022

Earth Day 2022: Lead Battery Recyclers Invest In a Greener Future

Lead battery recyclers celebrate Earth Day

Focused on the Future

Every day is Earth Day for North America’s lead battery recyclers, and this year’s theme “Investing in Our Planet” is the foundation of what the industry does day in and day out. The work our members do exemplifies a commitment to a greener planet; together they ensure lead batteries continue to be the  most recycled consumer product in North America. Every day, we invest in research, technology, sustainability and improved health and safety measures to make our planet greener and our employees safer.

Looking Closer for the Big Picture

Even though we support a remarkable 99% recycling rate and lead battery recycling is one of the hidden successes of the recycling movement, its model, closed-loop infrastructure is not well known. It may not be something most people think about every day, like putting aluminum cans aside to be picked up for recycling but lead battery recycling has an enormous positive impact on our lives. In fact, it’s one of the most efficient and sustainable recycling processes we have at our disposal to help protect the environment and provide critical materials to make new batteries.

Here are a few ways to think about the scope and impact of our work:

  • North America’s network of lead battery recyclers keeps more than 160 million used lead batteries out of landfills each year. If those batteries were laid end to end, they would wrap all the way around the Earth.
Lead battery recyclers recycle enough batteries each year to circle the earth.
  • Over 350 semi-trucks filled with spent lead batteries arrive at recycling facilities across North America every day and our members ensure they get recycled and turned into materials to support domestic manufacturing.
  • On average, a new lead battery contains about 80% recycled material obtained from battery recyclers.
  • Lead battery recyclers employ highly efficient recovery processes that ensure nearly all the material in a spent battery is recovered to make raw materials for new batteries.

We Are Recycling More Than Lead. Much More.

ABR recyclers transform spent batteries back into valuable raw materials that are used to manufacture new batteries. Nearly all the lead, plastic, and acid contained in a spent battery are recovered, recycled, and reused — plastic for new battery casings, lead for plates and other components, and sodium sulfate for many applications including laundry detergent and glass and textile manufacturing.

Lead Battery Recycling Industry Process

And there’s more — the lead in lead batteries can be recycled an infinite number of times. Learn more about the process here.

Investing in the Planet, Investing in the Future.

We take our responsibility to our employees, our communities, and our planet seriously. That’s why we make substantial investments in state-of-the-art technology and equipment to ensure responsible safety and environmental practices, as well as following a philosophy of continuous improvement.

ABR member companies collaborate and share environmental, health and safety best practices to collectively advance the industry as a whole. This includes not only making voluntary investments in our facilities and our communities, but partnering with Protecting Every Child’s Potential to improve battery recycling practices in low- and -middle income countries.

We’re excited to celebrate Earth Day today and every day.