With the fast-paced evolution of technology impacting our workplaces, facility managers are required to stay on top of important regulatory information. Recently, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued guidance on the recycling of lithium-ion batteries. With the rapid rise in the use of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries in consumer electronics, electric vehicles, power tools, and stationary storage applications, the topic of recycling and repurposing is important to today’s facility manager.
The EPA has determined that most lithium-ion batteries on the market today are likely to be hazardous waste when they are disposed of due to ignitability and reactivity features. Fires at the end of life can be a real hazard. Safe recycling at the end of life provides a sustainable approach to managing the disposal process. The EPA currently recommends that businesses consider managing all of their used lithium batteries as hazardous waste under the federal universal waste regulations.
For more information on this topic, review the recent memorandum issued by the EPA entitled, “Lithium Battery Recycling Regulatory Status and Frequently Asked Questions.” Here is a link to the memorandum issued on May 24, 2023: https://rcrapublic.epa.gov/files/14957.pdf