E-Waste Pilot Program to Recycle Lithium-Ion Batteries

ABTC's recycling facility in Nevada

(Credit: American Battery Technology Company)

by | Oct 13, 2023

As a part of the Pyxera Global and Terra “Done with It” pilot program, American Battery Technology Company (ABTC) will recycle lithium-ion batteries found in discarded electronics, or e-waste.

The pilot program, backed by Fed-Ex, intends to test the viability of recovering e-waste in order to develop a more circular business model for the logistics industry. Pyxera Global also recently released a framework informed by the pilot’s design, Powering Sustainability through Circular Logistics, that provides guidelines for the sector to implement such waste-reducing practices.

Residents in the United States may donate their laptops and tablets to the program, which will then wipe the device’s internal memory and decide whether the device is repairable or may be recycled. Batteries from recovered devices will be sent to ABTC’s Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center in Nevada, where metal materials will be recovered and recycled to be later used in electric vehicle batteries.

“Consumer electronics are notoriously difficult to efficiently collect, aggregate, and recycle,” said Ross Polk, director of business development for ABTC. “We are excited to support this collection and recycling program, thanks to Pyxera, FedEx, and project partners. By removing barriers around cost and collection for consumers, ABTC aims to increase the amount of batteries entering the closed-loop supply chain in the United States.”

The pilot program will accept items through Dec. 15 of this year, and those interested in donating devices may request a free Fed-Ex shipping label and donation instructions from the Done with It site.

Pilot Program, ABTC May Address Untapped Potential of E-Waste Recycling

According to a 2021 study, more than 57 million tons of e-waste are discarded annually throughout the world.

Most electronics contain valuable materials that are needed in producing EVs, such as lithium and cobalt. Such materials are currently facing increased demand as EV adoption continues to grow, and many companies are looking at ways to procure these materials aside from mining. Since so much e-waste is generated each year, attention has been drawn to diverting this waste and using it instead as a potential solution to this growing issue.

ABTC promotes recycling lithium-ion batteries domestically as a way to create a secure supply of primary battery metals, lower the cost of such materials, and decrease reliance on environmentally damaging conventional mining methods. The company’s lithium-ion recycling process, compared to conventional recycling processes, works to reduce waste, conserve natural resources used in operations, and decrease pollution associated with smelting. Overall, the system is able to achieve higher material recovery rates and create new battery materials with the same, or even higher, quality than materials used in virgin mining operations.

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