Circular Economy Solution to Waste Batteries

August 7, 2019

Raw Materials Company's technology to recycle alkaline batteries has been audited and verified under CSA-SPE-890-15.

Port Colborne, ON – Raw Materials Company has been Independently audited under the CSA Group Guideline - CSA SPE-890-15. The guideline establishes a set of common definitions, performance metrics and reporting requirements to facilitate best practices for the accountable management of end-of-life (EOL) waste materials, including consumer batteries, from point of collection to final disposition.

“Not all battery recycling is the same, and some recycling processes can actually do more harm than good to the environment,” said James Ewles, President of Raw Materials Company. “This independent audit will help governments and policy makers that are responsible for regulating and approving recycling facilities, weigh the true benefits and shortcomings of the various treatment methods that exist for batteries and other waste materials.” 

World economies have started to transition from linear based models, where resources are extracted to make products destined for landfill, to a circular model where products are designed with recovery and recyclability in mind. 

“Guidelines like CSA SPE-890-15 will help to facilitate that transition,” said Ewles. “Its transparent standards and reporting requirements will give interested parties the ability to measure the environmental performance of different recycling technologies using the same ruler.” 

At the heart of the guide is a standard definition for the term recycling. It defines the ways that extracted resources can be reused for it to count toward a technology’s Recycling Efficiency Rate (RER).

“This section of the guide is very important. Before, it was largely open to interpretation and in many cases, recovered materials were simply being repurposed and not reused for their unique properties,” said Ewles. “The best way to reduce the green-house-gas emissions associated with mining and refining raw materials from ore and to preserve our natural resources, is to recover materials that already exist in consumer products and to reuse them in a manner that they were originally created for.”

The RMC 3500 recycling technology for alkaline batteries achieved a recycling efficiency score of 84% and an overall diversion score of 87%. That means 84% of the resources inside each alkaline battery processed using RMC’s technology, are reused in applications that the materials were originally mined for. 

Raw Materials Company is an industry leading battery-recycling company. Established in 1985, RMC employs 50 people in the community of Port Colborne, Ontario. RMC is an approved transporter and processor under the Stewardship Ontario Battery Incentive Program which is funded by the battery manufacturers. 

Used batteries make up less than 1% of all waste found in municipal landfills. That 1% of batteries is responsible for 88% of all the toxic heavy metals found in the landfill.

Find out more about our technology and how together we are turning waste into a valuable resource.