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Lead ammunition surfaces on sustainability radar

United States – Concentrated deposits of lead ammunition from shooting ranges across the USA have come under environmental scrutiny in recent years, but now two Wisconsin men have developed a process to recover the metal. According to Lead Us Reclaim founders Gary Frase and Bill Moss, their venture offers multiple benefits such as reducing soil contamination and salvaging metal that would otherwise go to waste.

A massive front-end loader removes the first few inches of topsoil which is then passed through a screening machine to sort large particles of dirt. The company’€™s patented blower system then does the rest, filling the stacks of lead shot with air and thus eliminating any smaller particles. This is a most critical step, the venture’€™s founders argue, as smelters do not accept loads containing too many impurities.

‘€˜The cleaner the material, the more money you get,’€™ Mr Frase has told the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel Online. The lead recovered at a recently-visited trap range, for instance, would have been worth roughly US$ 100 000, according to latest LME cash prices. Such a lucrative outcome is possible because the equipment is able to ‘€˜screen up to sixty-thousandths of an inch’€™.

The two men believe they can capture 95% of the lead at any given site. In most instances, 20-40% of the company proceeds from sale of the reclaimed lead are shared with the clubs that have called upon its services.

For more information, visit: www.leadusreclaimllc.com

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