On 24 Jan 2018 at 0:20, Bill Dube via EV wrote:

> Basically, at _least_ 35% of all lead-acid batteries are _not_ being 
> recycled.

Bill, sorry, but I think this is too simplistic. For this analysis to apply, 
you'd have to assume that essentially every lead battery manufactured 
replaces an existing lead battery.  Obviously that's not the case, so of 
course some newly mined lead has to enter the manufacturing stream.  

To name only one reason, each year the vehicle population worldwide 
increases about 3.5 percent.  The vast majority is ICEVs, but almost every 
one of them has a lead battery.

At the same time, the 98 percent figure has always struck me as implausible. 
I've seen too many explicit counter-examples, such as the coast guard 
workers I read about who (at least used to) regularly tip spent buoy 
batteries into the deep so they wouldn't have to haul them back to port.

Do you work in an office?  In the years I worked in a place that had a UPS 
at every computer workstation, the number of batteries I rescued from the 
trash and took home to my own recycling pile numbered in the dozens.  I'm 
sure I probably missed the majority of them.

It's also shocking to read the harrowing accounts of third-world battery 
recycling. Apparently it's cheaper to export some batteries and other 
recyclables to low-wage countries for dismantling.  In many cases these 
nations have weak or nonexistent environmental laws, or the laws can be 
bypassed with a small cash payment.  Thousands of dirt-poor people work in 
these gigantic festering scrap piles, with no protective gear, poisoning 
themselves and their air, water, and ground day after day.  How is this 
accounted for?  Do we ignore it because they're lead-polluting some other 
country, not ours?  And shouldn't we consider the impact of shipping the 
batteries over, and the reclaimed materials back? 

Sure, there's a well developed recyling infrastructure for lead batteries, 
and thank goodness for it.  But what are the consequences for not using it?  
Nobody is checking your trash.  In the end it's down to individual 
responsibility.  Good luck finding much of that,  outside of folks on this 

I've seen this 98 percent battery recycling figure many times over the 
years. While (as the song says) data is not the plural of anecdote, my own 
observations, reading, and experience make me skeptical about it.

David Roden - Akron, Ohio, USA
EVDL Administrator

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
EVDL Information: http://www.evdl.org/help/
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = 
Note: mail sent to "evpost" and "etpost" addresses will not 
reach me.  To send a private message, please obtain my 
email address from the webpage http://www.evdl.org/help/ .
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

UNSUBSCRIBE: http://www.evdl.org/help/index.html#usub
Please discuss EV drag racing at NEDRA (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NEDRA)

Reply via email to