Beginning in the late 1970s, regulators pushed hard for more environmental controls on the battery recycling industry. By restricting emission allowances, over the next two decades the industry struggled to adapt and many smelters closed, reducing the total number in the United States from 65 to 12. Having so few smelters decreased the demand for scrap batteries and drove prices down. Eventually, people stopped handling batteries.
In the late 1990s, industry leaders, in conjunction with the EPA, passed laws creating exemptions from hauling batteries as non-hazmat and forcing due diligence, making recycling a profitable venture and helping the environment. The Superfund Recycling Equity Act of 1999 exempted liability of people involved in the sale and shipping of scrap batteries for the purpose of recycling. Confidence was regained and the value of scrap batteries rose to record levels.
The scrap battery business is now an established market, and knowing where to go with your batteries is as important as ever. There are a couple of options to consider and specific upsides and drawbacks to each. Customers with less than a truckload of batteries (44,000 pounds) can send scrap batteries back to the distributor for credits toward the purchase of new batteries, or distributors that are acquiring more than 44,000 pounds of scrap batteries can use a broker.
“The markets are strong and should be for some time,” says Levitt. “No matter which option you choose, now is a great time to start making money on those old batteries.”
To learn more about disposing scrap batteries, read the entire article on The MHEDA Journal Online. http://www.themhedajournal.org/
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Founded in 1954, the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA) is the premier source for manufacturing knowledge, education and networking. Through its member journals (http://www.TheMhedaJournal.org), e magazines, newsletters and industry wiki (http://www.wikimheda.org), MHEDA connects the manufacturers of storage & handling, lift trucks and conveyor equipment and distribution leaders for the purpose of delivering optimal solutions to the users of those products. MHEDA publications are the industry’s voice for all matters related to the latest technology and the most up-to-date processes spanning the movement and storage of all materials. A 501(c)3 organization, MHEDA members span all of North America.