Greenbiz FEB 2023 / By Mike De Socio / Read original article

A new corps of startups have different methods, but the same goal: Avoid the environmental and human impacts of lithium mining.

The lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles are well-known, at this point, as the main culprit for the environmental impact associated with manufacturing EVs.

There are obvious carbon emissions generated by the mining of metals for EV batteries, not to mention high water usage and potential human rights abuses.

But a new sector of tech companies are hoping to change that through “urban lithium mining,” or more simply put, battery recycling. The growing stream of retired lithium-ion batteries — in everything from old consumer electronics to electric cars — is being intercepted by recycling outfits that process the material and send it right back into the battery manufacturing pipeline.

Take, for example, Ascend Elements. The company collects those old batteries, and an even bigger portion of battery manufacturing scrap, and funnels it into a facility in Covington, Georgia — the largest of its kind in North America.

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