Battery Recycling

First industrywide electric bicycle battery recycling program in the U.S.

PeopleForBikes works with Call2Recycle to establish first industrywide electric bicycle battery recycling program in the U.S.

PeopleForBikes, a national bicycling advocacy organization and the bicycle industry’s trade association, is teaming up with Call2Recycle, the largest, most reliable battery recycling program experts in the U.S., to establish the bicycle industry’s first industrywide electric bicycle battery recycling program in the United States. The program will represent the first transportation sector united under one battery recycling solution.

Industry analysts estimate that more than 12 million electric bicycles will be sold in the United States between 2020 and 2030. Anticipating a massive increase in electric bicycle use for transportation and recreation, PeopleForBikes is proud to support the launch of this unprecedented battery recycling program, a breakthrough effort to take much needed action on sustainability and give both customers and retailers a safe and reliable option to recycle their electric bicycle batteries.

More than 40 bike industry leaders from 20 PeopleForBikes member companies united under a sustainability task force and electric bicycle committee to design the program. It aims to address the environmental concerns associated with lithium ion battery recycling and ensure that batteries at their end of life, or those that are damaged or defective, are safely handled and returned to the proper recycling stream rather than ending up in landfills.

The program will also help riders celebrate milestones, like when their electric bicycle becomes carbon neutral and when it’s time to recycle their battery, as well as showing them great places to ride their bike along the way.

The battery recycling program officially launches on Nov. 3, 2021, with bicycle industry suppliers and manufacturers signing on to support and fully fund the collection and recycling of electric bicycle batteries nationwide. Bicycle retailers can begin enrolling in the program in February 2022 and collection sites at retailers across the U.S. and at-home collection kits will be available for battery collection in summer 2022.

“With the projected growth of climate-friendly electric bicycles, the batteries powering those bikes will need to be safely and responsibly collected and managed at their end of life,” said Leo Raudys, CEO and president of Call2Recycle. “We are excited to be working with PeopleForBikes to establish the first voluntary, industry-led program in the electric transportation sector to ensure a safe, responsible journey for e-bike batteries from rider to recycler. We look forward to leveraging our 25 years of experience collecting and recycling 140 million pounds of batteries in the U.S. to make electric bicycle battery collection and recycling as seamless and successful as our consumer battery program.”Once bicycle suppliers sign on to support and fund the battery recycling program, Call2Recycle and PeopleForBikes will work together to build a network of retailer collection sites across the

U.S. These collection sites will be mapped out on both organization’s websites, allowing consumers to easily find their closest drop-off location. By managing the network of collection points and contracting with recyclers, Call2Recycle is helping bring the industry together and reducing the overall costs related to battery recycling.

Call2Recycle will provide retailers safe handling and packaging training for employees, all necessary safety materials and will arrange for the collection, transportation and recycling of the electric bicycle batteries. PeopleForBikes will develop marketing materials to further educate consumers on how to identify when their battery is reaching its end of life, as well as how and where to properly recycle it.

“This is a major milestone event. We know as an industry we need to do better on sustainability and climate issues, and battery recycling and safety plays a big role in those efforts,” said PeopleForBikes President and CEO Jenn Dice. “We also know that we can accomplish a lot more, a lot faster, by doing this work together with our many industry volunteer leaders. With millions of batteries reaching their end of life and more going into the market every year, we’re excited to collaborate with Call2Recycle and the rest of the bike industry to take such a proactive step towards a more sustainable future. This program is just the beginning.”

Currently, Universal Waste Regulations prohibit commercial handlers from disposing of end-of-life batteries in municipal waste streams. By being proactive and providing an industrywide recycling solution, the bike industry can more easily avoid legislative roadblocks associated with battery recycling. An established recycling program will also boost PeopleForBikes’ efforts at all levels of government to position electric bicycles as a sustainable, climate-friendly transportation solution, giving policymakers more reasons to support electric bicycle incentives nationwide.

To learn more visit ebikebatteryrecycling.peopleforbikes.org or register for this upcoming webinar.