98% recyclable, not 98% recycled.

On 24 January 2018 at 15:07, EVDL Administrator via EV
<ev@lists.evdl.org> wrote:
> 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
> list.
>
> 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
>
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-- 
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www.morini-mania.co.uk
www.paulcompton.co.uk (YouTube channel)
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