New battery recycling scheme will protect planet’s valuable natural resources

The country has seen an electronic device and e-vehicle ‘battery boom’ in recent years, creating a dilemma of how to deal with the growing numbers of used rechargeable batteries. Recycling and sustainability company, First Mile, has come up with an innovative battery recycling scheme.

First Mile has introduced a new scheme to recycle rechargeable lithium-ion batteries (LIB), commonly found in everyday handheld electronics, such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops. However more recently, these batteries can be found in cars and vans.

The new battery recycling initiative primarily aims to help businesses divert hazardous waste from landfill and protect the planet’s finite natural resources. First Mile simplifies recycling for UK businesses in an effort to improve corporate sustainability.

There is a clear growing popularity for electric vehicles, whether for cars used by the public, or by companies switching their fleet to electric. These changes have increased the demand for LIBs. It is predicted that by 2030, two million metric tons of used LIBs will be generated across the world each year.

Over time, LIBs degrade and come to the end of their rechargeable life where they are destined for the landfill. However, LIBs contain precious metals and elements that can be recovered. The planet has finite resources, further exacerbating the need for recycling and the avoidance of landfill sites.

LIBs should never be placed in the general waste. Aside from containing precious elements, they hold hazardous elements which, when handled incorrectly, pose the risk of fire and environmental pollution.

First Mile propose a safe recycling process. After being collected and responsibly stored, batteries will be transported to a specialist recycling facility in mainland Europe. A state-of-the-art recycling process that uses auto-thermal heat treatment and mechanical treatments, will recover aluminium, copper, nickel cobalt, and steel from the batteries.

‘Adding LIB recycling to our suite of recycling services is a really positive step forward for an item that has gained in popularity over the years, starting from consumer electronics and, more recently, the growth in the use of electric vehicles,’ Bruce Bratley, CEO and founder of First Mile commented.

‘At First Mile, we know from our own green fleet just how much of a positive difference that switching to electric vehicles can have on the environment, but, it’s vitally important that green intentions are maintained throughout the lifecycle of a product. Recycling all components of a product at the end of its useable life is the best way to divert waste from landfill and safeguard our planet’s natural resources.’

Find out more about First Mile, and how they can add sustainability to your company, here.

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