UPS Battery Backups and Recycling: What You Need to Know

Ever wonder how UPS batteries are disposed of when they are no longer used?  Let’s start with what exactly is a UPS.  The term UPS, stands for an “uninterruptible power supply/source,” and is a battery or flywheel backup that provides emergency power to a load when the electrical power fails. Unfortunately, UPS batteries are not everlasting, they eventually run out of power and must be reclaimed. Therefore, they must be recycled in accordance with federal regulations.

Federal regulations require the proper recycling of gel cells, batteries, lead-acid batteries and UPS battery backups.  According to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Mercury-containing and Rechargeable Battery Management Act, recycling is promoted to reduce the number of hazardous toxins in ground water and landfills.

Recycling is a Requirement

This is precisely why you need to recycle UPS battery backups when they are no longer needed. UPS batteries contain toxic chemicals, and must be recycled to adhere to federal mandates. During the process, the battery acid is neutralized and the lead is extracted so it can be used in new products. Any parts of the battery that cannot be used, follow safe disposal methods.

UPS battery backups are found in a number of electronics and power supplies, including telecom power systems, generator power equipment, backup power supplies, DC power systems, and certain pieces of industrial equipment.

How UPS Batteries Operate

When the batteries are recycled, they often are packed in bulk. As large companies may use the batteries, recycling becomes a matter of necessity when the battery backups are completely used. Much like the batteries that power automobiles, UPS batteries store electricity that uses a reverse chemical reaction that employs lead-acid. When this occurs, the negative and positive plates are suspended in water and sulfuric acid, known as an electrolyte.

Therefore, UPS battery backups work in a cycle of regular charging and discharging. If the battery is running low, the process can be reversed by recharging it. However, you can only charge a battery so many times. At a certain point, the component simply will fail.

A Highly Recycled Product

Fortunately, for environmentalists, UPS batteries are recycled a great deal. In fact, about 98% of all lead-acid type batteries were recycled between the years of 2009 and 2013. This type of recycle rate is higher than any other industrial or consumer product, including the recycling of glass bottles, newspapers, aluminum cans, and car tires.

Once UPS battery backups are detached and submitted to a recycler, the lead and plastic components are reclaimed, using stringent guidelines. Generally, the battery is first crushed into small pieces before being separated individually. The recycled plastic is used for the manufacture of new plastic goods, including automotive parts and plastic wheels. The lead, on the other hand, is delivered to manufacturers or industrial facilities.

How the Lead is Used

Lead recycled from UPS battery backups offers multiple uses, including the manufacture of nuclear shielding, new batteries, television screens, roofing materials, and military ammunition.

Endless Recycling

The recycling of lead from UPS batteries is so successful that 80% of new lead-acid batteries are made of recycled plastic and lead. Also, this type of process can continue. Therefore, a newly-made battery created from old components, can be recycle repeatedly.

An Equitable Trade-off

The recycling process that is used to reclaim UPS battery back-ups or lead-acid batteries not only enables the repurposing of batteries, it safeguards the planet from toxic contamination. Therefore, it is against the law in the US to dispose of lead-acid type batteries in the trash. In fact, most state laws mandate that an old battery must be recycled for each new battery that is sold by retailers.

An Easy Disposal Method for Recycling

Fortunately, most people or businesses can dispose of an old battery rather easily. That is because most battery retailers accept UPS battery backups. UPS battery recycling programs are featured at Best Buy, Advanced Auto, Staples, Home Depot, and Lowe’s. Vendors then delivers the used batteries to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) licensed recycling centers.


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Lead-Acid Battery Recycling: What You Need to Know

You may wonder what happens to your old car battery when it is replaced with a new one. In most cases, it will get recycled. Car batteries, which are lead-acid type batteries cannot be disposed of in incinerators or landfills because they are too toxic.

Lead-acid Batteries Come in Two Designs

Two types of lead-acid batteries are recycled. These batteries include deep-cycle batteries and starting batteries. A starting battery, like the name implies, provides the power to start an engine. A deep-cycle battery delivers a continual low level of power to keep an engine running.

A Short Introduction to the History

Lead-acid batteries were introduced in 1859 by Gaston Plante, a French scientist, and were the first rechargeable type batteries used commercially. Initially, the batteries were used to store power by utilities and to illuminate the lights on trains.

How the Batteries are Used

When most people think of a lead battery, they often think of an auto battery. However, lead batteries are used in a number of formats. Batteries are also used to power buses, golf carts, and boats. In addition, they are employed to power back-up generators in such places as prisons or hospitals during bad storms. Utility companies use lead-acid batteries to prevent power outages and handle variances in energy demand.

How the Batteries are Made

Batteries that are described as lead-acid contain large amounts of lead as well as sulfuric acid. When the batteries are made, a set of lead plates are used, each of which represent a negative and positive charge. The plates are dipped into a combination water solution and acid to charge the battery. Once the battery is constructed, it is placed into a container made of plastic.

Lead-acid batteries hold their charges for several years before they decline. When you consider the contents of the batteries, you quickly understand why recycling is important. The batteries can seriously endanger animals and humans, including ground water supplies. The lead used for the batteries must be mined too, which harms the environment over time.

The Recycling Process

Lead-acid batteries are crushed during recycling into pieces that measure about the size of a nickel. The various components are separated out of the pieces. Crushing is done inside a hammer mill before the broken parts are inserted into a vat. When inside the vat, the heavy materials and lead drop to the bottom and the plastic floats.

During this part of the process, the polypropylene plastic pieces are scooped up while the liquids are removed, leaving the heavy metals and lead. Thereafter, each of the materials go through a different recycling process.

Recycling the Plastic

The plastic is washed, dried, and sent to a plastic recycler where the pieces are melted into an almost liquid-like state. The molten plastic is placed inside an extruder that creates small plastic pellets of the material. Pellets are placed into manufacturing battery cases before the process starts once again.

How the Lead is Repurposed

Lead oxide, lead grids, and other lead components are cleaned and heated inside smelters. The molten lead is then poured into ingot molds where impurities float to the top. The impurities are removed before the ingots are cooled. After the ingots have sufficiently cooled, they are extracted from the molds and sent to battery companies where they are, again, melted and used in the manufacture of new batteries.

Recycling the Sulfuric Acid

Old battery acid or sulfuric acid is either neutralized so it turns into water or processed and converted to sodium sulfate, which is an odorless powder. The neutralized acid, when converted to water, is treated and cleaned in a waste water treatment facility to ensure it meets with clean water standards. If the acid is converted to sodium sulfate, it is used in the manufacture of laundry detergent, textiles, or glass.

According to the EPA, about 80% of the lead and plastic in a lead-acid battery is recycled for reuse. Lead-acid batteries are also closed-loop recycled, which means each part of a battery is recycled into a new battery.

Removing a Lead-acid Battery from Your Vehicle

Because lead-acid batteries are considered dangerous, retailers who sell the batteries often feature recycling programs. When removing a lead-acid battery from your own car then, leave the cable ends affixed. Also, check the battery to make sure it is not leaking. If it is leaking fluid, immediately transfer the component to a leak-proof container. Battery boxes made of plastic or fiberglass are sold at auto parts retailers.

Battery acid eats through concrete surfaces. So, if you put the battery on the ground, try to place it on an asphalt surface. Clean up a leak with baking soda, and treat the clean-up material as hazardous waste.

Lead-acid batteries should be transported in a leak-proof container to a recycling facility. If you have more than one battery to recycle, separate each part with a piece of wood so the post terminals do not meet.


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Flickr – Creative Commons

James Provost

Computer and Flat Screen TV Repair in Edwardsville IL

As a family-owned recycling company, CJD E-Cycling is committed to providing our customers with the absolute best service each and every day. With electronic waste now being banned from landfills in Illinois, we realize our customers need an easy and convenient way to dispose of their old computers, televisions, and other products in a safe and efficient manner, and that’s where we come into play. By offering our customers numerous services, we make it easier than ever to recycle products that before would have taken up valuable space in landfills.

Bulk Computer Equipment Sales

While recycling is the main part of our business, we have also recently started an E-store that specializes in selling refurbished electronics including computers, flat screen televisions, laptop computers, and much more. By doing computer and flat screen TV repair on certain products, we can not only give customers the opportunity to purchase these products at much lower prices, but also keep these products from finding their way into landfills or being discarded too soon.

Data Destruction

Along with computer and flat screen TV repair, we also provide safe and secure data destruction services to our customers. Completed onsite here at our recycling facility, our employees are trained in the latest and most effective procedures that allow them to ensure all data is destroyed from any computers or other electronics that may be brought to our facility. To give our customers added peace of mind, we are glad to provide a Certificate of Destruction, complete with itemized documentation, upon request. Also upon request, we offer UPC tracking of hard drives and devices, guaranteeing customers a safe and secure experience.

Tailored Pickup

As an added service to our customers, we are glad to provide tailored pickup services for virtually any items. Tailored specifically to the needs of individual clients, we guarantee sensitive material is managed securely and confidentially, while also providing on-site packaging solutions that will fit whatever needs our customers may have.

Cultivate Recycling Program

With our computer and flat screen TV repair enabling us to refurbish numerous electronic products, we also work with customers to establish and maintain a recycling program that fits the needs of their business. We develop, evaluate, and execute a sustainability package unique to each client, making sure they can convert retired IT equipment into a source of revenue.

By always putting our customers first, we here at CJD E-Cycling are committed to not only making sure recycling is easier than ever, but also to providing as many services as possible to make recycling a regular part of everyone’s lives.

CJD E-Cycling Office Clean Outs

If your office needs cleaning, or clearing of clutter and junk, CJD E-Cycling should be your first port of call. Leave all the grunt work to us, while taking advantage of our highly competitive prices. CJD E-Cycling can provide a range of office clean out services. We get rid of all unwanted items, and sweep and clean the walls and floors. Furthermore, when you hire CJD E-Cycling to clean out your office, you can make big savings on the disposal expenses, because – needless to say — ‘Recycling’ is our specialty.

Often, a small or medium sized business will find itself in a situation where it needs to move, due to expansion or to reduce overheads (to name just a couple of reasons). If you have to move your office into a different building, or wish to downsize or upgrade your office, you will have to clean out the old one. If you intend to keep most of your old office furniture and appliances, after you move you are still likely to encounter a significant number of unwanted items, or items that are to be thrown out.

The day you move offices will be hectic enough, without having to worry about the cleaning side of things. You need to concentrate on packing, and ensuring that vital documents and valuable equipment is secured. This is why using a junk removal company is a wise idea. By doing this, you will leave behind a freshly cleaned office space, which another business can start using immediately. Moreover, by having the office thoroughly cleaned, you can be sure that nothing gets left behind, and that every last detail will be dealt with in the right way.

One crucial factor in the success of any business is making a good impression. If the office you leave behind is messy and dirty, word about this is bound to spread. In turn, this reflects poorly on your organization. You should handle all areas of your business in a professional manner, including the cleaning. This way, you will protect the reputation of your company, and avoid burning bridges with other businesses unnecessarily.

Our expert recycling operations staff will help you make the wise decisions that will benefit the environment and your bank account. After Construction is finished cleaning, we also look through the ‘rubbish’ and remove anything that can be recycled and/or donated. Consequently, you can rest assured that any items you choose to leave behind will be put to good use.

With our handy scheduling, upfront prices and all inclusive service, you do not need to fret about anything. Leave your items in their existing location and call us on 618-659-9006, to have your office cleaned. With our sizable trucks, we can transport multiple truckloads or single items. The majority of our office clean outs are completed within one day, so we are a one stop solution that can help you move quicker, with less hassle.

Pros And Cons Of Refrigerant Recycling

Slowly, as most refrigerant options become costlier to develop and use, HVACR experts are looking into refrigerant recycling programs. This is a process that can help reduce the contaminants found in the refrigerant, allowing it to be reused in the same equipment, or used in equipment owned by the same owner. This is not the same thing as reclaiming refrigerant, which is based on a multiple filtration process that reclaims that refrigerant in order to use it for industry purity standards. There are many different advantages and disadvantages that come with the recycling process, and researchers are constantly looking into ways to optimize it.

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