Lee Hart wrote:
> Upwards of 98% of the lead is recycled into new batteries.
Bill Dube via EV wrote:
Basically, at _least_ 35% of all lead-acid batteries are _not_ being
EVDL Administrator via EV wrote:
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.
The problem here (as in politics) lies in using extreme cases as if they
represent the middle.
For the 98% figure, I was thinking of what happens to normal lead-acid
vehicle batteries; especially EV batteries in the US. They are large and
expensive, and the cash value of a scrap battery is substantial. There
are also laws that require recycling them. So almost all of these
lead-acid batteries *do* get returned for recycling. I don't know if
it's really 98%; but it's certainly very high.
But then there's the question of who does the reprocessing? If these
batteries are reprocessed in the US, environmental laws mean that very
little lead will be lost to the environment. But for facilities outside
the US, all bets are off. There are plenty of horrible examples of how
*not* to do it. (They probably BURN old batteries for heat in Lower
I don't know the percentages of old batteries that get rebuilt in the
US, versus what get sent to third world countries where laws are lax or
It's important to base our actions on fact; not alarmist extremes.
Recycling *works* for lead-acid batteries. It's a model that should be
followed for other battery types as well. It is faulty logic to say that
since *some* lead-acid batteries are not recycled, there is no point in
recycling programs at all; just ban lead outright instead.
With the growing use of other battery chemistries for EVs, it is
important to set up *more* recycling standards to cover them as well.
Right now, it is much harder to recycle nimh and lithium packs, making
it more likely that they will wind up in landfills.
It is vanity to do with more that which can be done with less.
-- William of Ockham
Lee Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, www.sunrise-ev.com
Please discuss EV drag racing at NEDRA (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NEDRA)