Lithium Battery Safety

Lithium batteries may cause injury if they enter the lead recycling stream, posing a serious threat to recycling employees and equipment. Proper training and resources to identify lithium batteries have been developed to keep employees safe.

Lithium Battery Risks in the Lead Recycling Stream

The lead battery recycling process was uniquely designed for lead batteries; it is one of the core drivers of lead batteries’ over 99% recycling rate. However, when lithium batteries enter the lead battery recycling stream, they pose a serious threat to lead battery recyclers’ employees and equipment. This is because lithium batteries can explode when they are crushed during the lead battery recycling process.

In an effort to decrease and ultimately eliminate lithium batteries from entering the lead battery recycling stream, BCI has created a lithium battery training toolkit designed to be incorporated into companies’ onboarding programs and learning management systems (LMS). The toolkit includes a video, poster and flyer, each developed to aid lead battery sorters and handlers in identifying lithium batteries.

The video above teaches you how to identify the differences between lithium and lead batteries, provides you with the resources needed to develop your lithium disposal plan, and warns you of the consequences of including a lithium battery in a lead battery pallet.

Keeping Employees Safe

Along with the lithium battery training video, BCI has created an electronic poster and flyer to reference when distinguishing a lead battery from a lithium battery, as well as a justification letter to communicate the importance of these training materials to your company’s management team. Download the letter and customize it with your information for an effective means of speaking to upper management regarding the implementation of these materials into your company’s onboarding program and learning management system.

The graphics on the poster and flyer reinforce the three main differences between lead and lithium batteries – weight, terminals and labels. Users are encouraged to take the files to their local printer and showcase them in their facilities for employee reference.

Display the poster in the break room, or anywhere else in the facility where it will remain visible to your employees. Post the flyer to your workplace’s bulletin board, distribute it to employees, or leave copies in the break room for employees to take with them and browse. You can also save the electronic file and email it directly to your employees.

To print, download the poster with bleeds, visit your local printer and request:

  • Paper: Minimum 80# White Cover (Recommend 100# White Cover)
  • Colors: CMYK
  • Recommend a varnish to prevent fingerprinting, spills, etc.

To print, download the flyer with bleeds, visit your local printer and request:

  • Paper: Minimum 80# White Cover (Recommend 100# White Cover)
  • Colors: CMYK
  • Recommend a varnish to prevent fingerprinting, spills, etc.

Recycling Rechargeable Batteries

Every battery has a different recycling journey. Consumers can safely recycle nickel cadmium, nickel metal hydride, lithium ion, nickel zinc and small sealed lead batteries through Call2Recycle.

John Howes

The Energy Storage Grand Challenge report….reflects growing recognition from DOE and others that lead batteries are among important energy storage technologies that require investment to secure America’s global leadership on technological innovation and a green economy infrastructure.

John Howes, Principal, Redland Energy Group