Lead Acid Battery Recycling, Increasingly Being Exported (to Mexico)

by
in environment on (#2T2P)
Over the past ten years, there has been a stunning surge in the volume of used lead acid batteries exported from the U.S. Between 2002 and 2013 U.S. exports increased a staggering 19,902%. Last year alone, U.S. companies exported 639,670 metric tonnes of batteries, with as much as 92% going to Mexico.

The impact of this exodus is two-fold. From industry's standpoint, domestic recyclers are seeing a constant erosion of their feedstock, resulting in excess capacity that endangers jobs and the survival of domestic recycling. From a broader viewpoint, it imperils Mexico's environment and the health of workers due to the country's poor track record of secondary lead smelting oversight and regulation.

While EPA's June release of a final rule restricting the export of lead-containing CRT displays offers some encouragement, it is hard to ignore the double standard. Why focus the effort on obsolete CRTs when America has more cars than people?

http://www.waste-management-world.com/articles/print/volume-15/issue-4/features/trash-talking.html

EPA (Score: 1)

by venkman@pipedot.org on 2014-10-03 21:13 (#2T2V)

I would suggest that environmental agencies are part of the problem. As someone who has worked with state and federal environmental agencies, they can be hard to deal with. Permitting any kind of new manufacturing or recycling operation is a tough process and the agencies aren't always reasonable or fair.

I value protecting the environment, but the bureaucracy that typifies these agencies has no value whatsoever.
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