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Posted on : May 31, 2005

The lead-acid
battery industry, with help from consumers and retailers, recycled 99.2 percent
of used battery lead (or 11.7 billion pounds of lead) from 1999 to 2003,
according to a new report issued today by Battery Council International (BCI)
the industry's trade association. The data confirm that the lead-acid battery
remains the nation's most highly recycled consumer product.

"This high recycling rate for battery lead is the result of a successful
collaboration among members of the battery industry, retailers and consumers,"
said Randy Hart, President of BCI. "It proves that a workable infrastructure
helps boost consumers' participation in recycling."

The lead-acid battery industry, which is the country's largest user of lead, has
been recycling and reclaiming lead from its used products for nearly 75 years.
Battery Council International, a not-for-profit organization that represents the
international lead-acid battery manufacturing and recycling industry, has
tracked the lead recycling rate from used automotive, truck, motorcycle, marine,
garden tractor, industrial and other lead-acid batteries since 1987.

"The lead-acid battery recycling structure has been proven to be efficient and
highly successful, and no other battery chemistry comes near the recycling rate
of lead-acid batteries," said Mr. Hart. The recycling rate of battery lead has
also consistently ranked higher than other recyclable commodities. The U.S. EPA
lists 2003 recycling rates of other materials:

* Steel Cans: 60.0%
* Yard Trimmings: 56.3%
* Paper and Paperboard: 48.1%
* Aluminum Beer and Soft Drink Cans: 43.9%
* Tires: 35.6%
* Plastic Milk Bottles: 31.9%
* Plastic Soft Drink Containers: 25.2%
* Glass Containers: 22.0%

Along with the lead and plastic from used batteries, lead-acid battery recyclers
also reclaim scrap lead from the production process. In a continuous cycle, the
battery industry reclaims and reuses lead and plastic for use in new batteries,
keeping these materials out of the waste stream. "Lead-acid battery recycling in
the U.S. was one of the most significant environmental success stories of the
20th century and the trend continues into the 21st century," said Mr. Hart.

The Battery Council International has been instrumental in promoting the
enactment of lead-acid battery recycling requirements that are the law in 43
U.S. states. Today, the vast majority of U.S. retailers and auto parts stores
collect used batteries from consumers in compliance with state recycling laws.

The BCI 1999-2003 National Recycling Rate Study and historical lead recycling
data are available at


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