A coalition of leading vehicle battery manufacturers, recyclers, retailers and users dedicated to the responsible manufacturing, use and reuse of vehicle batteries launched an initiative to recover 2 million more batteries with the goal of achieving a recycling rate of 100 percent. The campaign, called the “2 Million Battery Challenge,” is an effort to engage consumers to bring their used vehicle batteries to the nearest participating auto parts retailer to have them properly recycled.
“The latest automotive industry research shows that 12 percent of consumers still have a dead or unusable vehicle battery at home in a garage or old vehicle and not in the closed recycling loop,” said Pat Hayes, executive director of the Responsible Battery Coalition, the organization leading the effort. “That’s enough batteries to equal the weight of 1,000 semi-trucks or enough to line the length of 8,000 football fields.”
“The recycling of vehicle batteries is one of the great achievements in protecting public and environmental health,” said Ramon Sanchez, Ph.D., of the Harvard University School of Public Health and chair of the Responsible Battery Coalition’s Science Advisory Board. “With 99 percent of the vehicle batteries in North America currently being recycled, we are reducing pollution, including the greenhouse emissions caused from sourcing new battery materials. Getting the remaining 2 million batteries recycled will make this positive impact even better.”
The event, sponsored by the Senate Auto Caucus, marks the launch of the campaign and includes a panel discussion featuring members of the Responsible Battery Coalition, its partners and expert advisers.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), co-chair of the caucus, commended the Responsible Battery Coalition’s members for their environmental stewardship. “What has been achieved by this industry is remarkable and stands as an example to others around the world. I applaud them for wanting to do better,” he said.
The 2 Million Battery Challenge will utilize a combination of online advertising and social media engagement to inform consumers that their used batteries can and should be properly disposed at a location near them. These locations are often automotive aftermarket retailers or municipal recycling centers. “We want to make this as easy as possible for people,” said Hayes. “Our campaign directs consumers to a page on our website that will allow them to locate the collection center nearest them. All they need to do is bring the battery in and our partners will do the rest.”
Panelists at the Senate briefing included:
- Pat Hayes, executive director, Responsible Battery Coalition
- Ramon Sanchez, Ph.D., director, sustainable technologies and health program, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
- Adam Muellerweiss, executive director – sustainability, industry, and government affairs, Johnson Controls
- Jonathan Moser, head, environment and public affairs – Canada, Lafarge Canada
- Ray Pohlman, vice president, government and community relations, AutoZone
- Micah Thompson, senior manager, environmental affairs, Advance Auto Parts