The Equal Times has published an article showcasing the dangers posed by Mexico’s poorly regulated and toxic lead acid battery recycling industry
In just the past decade, America has seen a stunning increase in the volume of spent lead acid batteries exported for recycling. According to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Census Department data, from 2002 to 2013 the rate of U.S. exports of spent lead acid batteries increased by up to an astounding, and quite incomprehensible, 19,902 percent. Close to 20 percent of American spent lead acid car batteries are now exported abroad. That figure doesn’t include the export market for lead acid batteries used in battery backup systems or other uses. Last year alone, U.S. companies exported close to a billion pounds of these batteries overseas, with the majority (somewhere between 77 and 92 percent) going to facilities in Mexico.
Robert E. Finn, President and CEO of RSR Corporation, today praised IBM, AT&T, and Sprint for their decision to halt the export of their used lead acid batteries to Mexico for recycling due to concerns that battery recyclers in Mexico fail to meet adequate health and environmental standards. This prudent decision, posted on metal.com, underscores the need for an immediate and complete ban on spent lead acid battery exports from the United States to Mexico and other developing countries.
The Lead Acid Battery Conundrum: With a limited lifespan, lead acid batteries such as those found in cars, form a significant and valuable waste stream. However, with lower environmental standards governing their recycling in Mexico, huge quantities are being exported there from the U.S. WMW asked representatives from industry and government for their views. Read Robert Finn’s response here.
The environmental website Grist explains the dangers of exporting SLABS to Mexico for recycling. Read the post here.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s rule is a positive sign that the federal government is taking seriously the issue of hazardous waste exports. RSR commends EPA for its effort on CRTs and looks forward to working with it to address the export of spent lead acid batteries.