In an ideal world we would recycle everything we use. However, there are still many things that cannot be recycled effectively or efficiently.
Fortunately, one of the previously not-easily-recycled materials is finding a new recycling future thanks to technology and innovation.
Battery Recycling is Charging Up
According to many industry analysts and commentators, the need for battery recycling is long overdue.
As one renewable energy podcast recently pointed out,
The coming decade is going to see a rapid rise in demand for electric vehicles and the batteries they contain. Currently, the materials that compose those batteries are mined and processed in countries with problematic environmental and labor standards.
While batteries in general are used in countless thousands of different types of equipment and devices, one of the fastest growing and most significant sectors of battery demand in electric vehicles, of EVs.
The rapidly rising need for the raw materials required for lithium-ion batteries, for example, is driving a relatively new niche in the industry.
According to an article from an Industry Dive website,
The lithium-ion battery industry is staring down a huge increase in demand, spurred by explosive growth in electric vehicle manufacturing. In the United States, where just 1% of the raw and component materials for EV batteries are currently produced, recyclers believe they can meet the moment.
So, what exactly is battery recycling - and lithium-ion batteries in particular?
Essentially, these large battery structures are dismantled and core components and materials are recovered for reuse. In the case of EV battery recycling, the materials recovered include cobalt, nickel, lithium, and manganese, and are then used in the manufacturing of new batteries.
[Image courtesy Insideevs.com]
However, even before before it is recycled, following a battery’s first life in an electric vehicle, it can be reused, refurbished, and repurposed.
As author Jessica Dunn states,
If the battery isn’t damaged during its use in an EV, such as in a car accident, these batteries have additional usable capacity – an estimated 80% of the original rated capacity. This means that if the battery was manufactured to store 100 kWh, it can now store up to 80 kWh. In order to make use of the remaining capacity, the batteries can be broken down to salvage smaller components for reuse and refurbishment, or they can be repurposed and used in a less demanding application, such as stationary storage.
For those batteries that have already served a "second life" their components can still be recycled for additional use and products. Which is hyper-critical given the geo-political, economic, and environmental issues plaguing the production of lithium-ion based products such as EV batteries.
As one source notes,
Recycling lithium-ion batteries would help reduce the dependency on these materials, improve the security of the supply chain, and reduce the human and environmental impact brought by these batteries. In short, more recycling would mean less dependency on virgin material and minimal environmental harm.
But the question is, now that we have obviously moved into the electric car era in the United States, what is the current state of battery recycling?
A Graphic Look at the State of Battery Recycling in the US
Sadly, it seems that North America and the United States in particular has been lagging behind in the push to develop and fully implement EV battery reuse and recycling technologies and the sufficient industrial facilities needed to house them.
Across the globe it is estimated that roughly 5 percent of lithium-ion batteries are recycled, but that is not the case in places such as Europe, for example. According to data from Statista, in the EU, up to 90 percent of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are assumed to be collected, while the plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) collection rate is assumed to be 50 percent.
In 2019, US recycling companies managed to diver about 15 percent of all retired lithium-ion batteries from landfills. But today this amount has already increased dramatically.
Here is a graphic depiction of the current state of battery recycling in the United States:
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The future is looking bright for EVs and for the expansion of EV battery reuse and recycling in the US.
As analyst Jessica Dunn points out in her blog,
Recent research has shown that by 2050 recycled materials could supply 45–52% of cobalt, 22–27% of lithium, and 40–46% of nickel used in the United States light- and heavy-duty vehicle fleet. Efforts across the United States to increase the sales of EVs are underway – places like California expect to have 100% of all car sales be electric by 2035 – so being able to recycle batteries and reuse the metal within them is a critical step in the transformation to a cleaner transportation system.
Junk King is Your Local E-Waste Removal and Recycling Resource
Your junk recycling partners at Junk King provide efficient, safe and eco-friendly e-waste disposal services so you don’t need to worry about pick up and green junk removal.
And this includes any of your junk items that contain electronic components. We specialize in e-waste removal and other types of residential and commercial junk recycling.
Whether you need our services several times during a major spring cleanup project for example, or just once after to get rid of unwanted items you have sitting around, our hauling professionals will ensure that your home or business junk is out of your way.
So, regardless of what type of junk you have, we always try to recycle or reuse everything and anything we pick up. Junk King's eco-friendly junk removal service helps you get rid of any unwanted junk, including large e-waste items, and in a sustainable way.
If you are stuck with large amounts of recyclable junk, Junk King can help you get rid of it today!
Our professional and insured junk removal team will show up at your home or office, and we'll call 15 to 30 minutes before we arrive. Once there, we’ll give you a free estimate based on how much room your junk takes up in our truck.
So, ready to get rid of that "hard-to-recycle" waste? It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3.
Make an appointment with us by booking online above or by calling 1.888.888.JUNK (5865).