Responsible Battery Coalition aims to collect 2m spent batteries

A group of lead battery makers, recyclers, retailers and users launched an initiative on February 14 that aims to collect an estimated two million batteries currently lying unused in US citizens’ back yards.

If successful, it says the recycling rate of lead batteries in the US will reach 100%, where now it is just over 99%, according to Battery Council International.

Calling itself the Responsible Battery Coalition the group, which includes Johnson Controls, Ford Motor Company, Honda and Walmart, is calling on people to take any old lead batteries to their nearest participating auto parts retailer, which will ensure they are properly recycled.

Quoting the latest automotive industry research, executive director of the coalition Pat Hayes said 12% of consumers still had a spent vehicle battery at home that was not in the closed recycling loop.

“That’s enough batteries to equal the weight of 1,000 semi-trucks or enough to line the length of 8,000 football fields,” he said.

The coalition says it will use a combination of online advertising and social media to get the message across to consumers.

“The recycling of vehicle batteries is one of the great achievements in protecting public and environmental health,” said Ramon Sanchez, who is chair of the coalition’s science advisory board.

“With 99% of the vehicle batteries in North America currently being recycled, we are reducing pollution including the greenhouse emissions caused from sourcing new battery materials. Getting the remaining two million batteries recycled will make this positive impact even better.”

Other members of the Responsible Battery Coalition include Federal Express, Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone, Canadian Energy, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Club Car and LafargeHolcim.