ISRI JULY 2022 / Read original article

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), the Voice of the Recycling Industry™, National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA), and Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) issued a joint letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan citing best practices for safe recycling and labeling of lithium batteries. The letter is in response to the EPA’s Request for Information on the Development of Best Practices for Collection of Batteries to be Recycled and Voluntary Battery Labeling Guidelines.

Lithium batteries are being used to power everything from electronic devices to onboard automobile systems. However, the increased usage poses serious fire risks and safety challenges for consumers and the recycling industry.

“It is imperative that a clear path is delineated for the responsible recycling of batteries,” said ISRI President Robin Wiener. “By joining together to provide comments to the EPA, our organizations are offering solid solutions to minimize the risks of fire and injury that occur in recycling operations.”

The letter commends the EPA’s increased focus on the hazards that batteries pose in the waste and recycling streams. The organizations note that these hazards are increasing as more lithium-ion batteries get discarded and improperly placed in curbside residential waste or recycling collection containers and bags.

Once in the recycling or waste stream, these batteries become fire risks as they get mixed with tons of materials and placed in hot temperatures under significant compression.

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