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US batteries head south for recycling

United States – Following the tightening-up of US legislation relating to lead emissions, large volumes of batteries have been moving across the border to Mexico for recycling.

While the USA has invested heavily in developing clean and green technology to make battery recycling safer, industry sources claim recyclers are favouring less regulated Mexican plants over keeping batteries on the domestic market – despite claims of far poorer pollution, health and safety standards south of the border.

A recent report issued by NAFTA’s environmental co-operation commission says that there has been ‘a dramatic increase’ in exports of spent lead-acid batteries to Mexico over the last 10 years.

‘According to our estimates, between 2004 and 2011, US exports of such batteries to Mexico increased by anywhere from 449% to 525%,’ it states. It is estimated that, in 2011, a total of 17 952 tractor-trailers full of used batteries were carried into Mexico from the USA.

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Source: Sacramento Bee

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