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Federal and State Governments Turn to Interstate for Lead Battery Recycling

July 2018 | By Tod A. Lyons, Communications and Sustainability Manager

Contractors for the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) turned to Interstate Batteries Recycling recently to recycle lead batteries following the devastating fires in California and hurricanes in the US Virgin Islands last summer. 

In Northern California, more than 45,000 lbs of batteries from burned cars and trucks needed to be properly packaged and disposed of to remove the hazard from the environment. FEMA contacted Interstate Batteries knowing the batteries would be properly handled.  Since the batteries had to be handled as a hazardous waste because of the severe damage to them, IBR worked with one of the secondary lead smelters who could take the nearly unrecognizable batteries in their burned-out condition. Following the proper training of the Distributor personnel handling the batteries and contracting with EPA-registered hazardous

In another lead battery recycling project, the US EPA contacted IBR to recycle more than 100,000 lbs of batteries recovered from sunken boats and damaged vehicles following Hurricane Irma and Maria's destruction in the US Virgin Islands. IBR worked with Interstate’s Distribution Center in Urbandale and the Global Logistics Team at the home office to coordinate the delivery of packaging material and the ultimate removal and transport of the scrap batteries from the Islands to an approved lead recycler in the United States.

It is not unusual for federal and state governments to reach out to IBR for their lead battery recycling needs.  Between May 1, 2017 and April 1, 2018, IBR recycled close to one million pounds of scrap batteries for Government Liquidation, a contractor for the Defense Logistics Agency. The majority of these loads were picked up at military bases in AK, AL, NC, VA, CA, KY and SC.  A number of State National Guard facilities have been recycling scrap batteries with IBR for more than five years.  Additionally, the State of North Carolina Surplus Property division has had an agreement with IBR for six years to recycle their government fleet vehicle batteries as well as batteries from schools, universities and hospitals, maintenance facilities and other state offices. 

Even three of the largest environmental companies in the US,  Clean Harbors,  Veolia Environmental and Stericycle,  turn to IBR for their lead battery recycling needs.  On top of that, contractors for Sprint,  AT&T, Verizon, Facebook and Google also send their scrap lead batteries through IBR’s nationwide recycling program.

In FY-2018, IBR surpassed one billion pounds of scrap lead batteries recycled for the first time in its 10-year history. 

 

Learn more about battery recycling on our Interstate Batteries Recycling page.

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