Lead Battery Recycling Plant Closure Stirs Fear of Increased Exports to Mexico

Milton, Georgia based battery manufacturer, Exide Technologies is to idle its lead recycling operations at its Reading, Pennsylvania facility by March 2013, sparking fears of a boom in exports to Mexico.

22 November 2012

Milton, Georgia based battery manufacturer, Exide Technologies (NASDAQ: XIDE) is to idle its lead recycling operations at its Reading, Pennsylvania facility by March 2013.

"This decision was based on several factors including the dramatic swings in the lead market and the high capital investment needed, due to regulatory requirements, to remain operational in Reading," explained Paul Hirt, president, Exide Americas.

The company said that it will continue to operate its plastics recycling business at the Reading facility. Exide will maintain the Reading facilities and the permits and approvals necessary for all recycling activities.

However, the move has been met with concern by the SLAB Watchdog - a non-governmental organisation dedicated to eliminating the environmental danger and community health issues caused by the foreign recycling of Spent Lead Acid Batteries (SLABs).

According to the group, the decision by Exide marks the second time this year the company has announced the closing of one of its highly regulated spent lead acid battery recycling facilities.

"It is unfortunate workers at Exide's facility have to bear the brunt of companies electing to send their used car batteries to poorly regulated Mexican recyclers," commented SLAB Watchdog director, Diane L. Cullo.

"In bypassing highly regulated American recyclers, exporters and the suppliers who turn a blind eye to the practice are showing their attitudes towards environmental, community, and worker protections. If these companies were truly committed to environmental stewardship, they would utilise highly regulated domestic recycling facilities employing American workers," she added.

The SLAB Watchdog said that it feared further closures of U.S. battery recycling facilities, resulting in an explosion of exports to Mexico's substandard recyclers.


Read More

132,000 TPA Car Battery Recycling Plant Opens in Florence, SC
Milwaukee, Wisconsin based Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI), a global automotive battery supplier and recycler, has held the grand opening ceremony for its Florence Recycling Center for automotive batteries.

Lead from U.S. Batteries Polluting Mexican School Yards
The U.S. is sending an increasing number of end-of-life batteries across the boarder to Mexico, where the lead is removed and then re-sold or re-used, according to the New York Times.

Report into U.S. Exports of Car Batteries to Mexico
U.S. businesses have been exporting large volumes of car batteries to Mexico to take advantage of lax environmental and worker protection laws.



     

Free Magazine

Subscription




   
Free Email

Newsletter