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Re: Lead Acid Battery Disposal

Jeff - hope this helps - the information below is from a 
colleague of mine.

Rich Dooley
> Jeffery Halsey wrote:

> Working with an alarm company that generates about 200 lead acid
> batteries per month.  The 12 volt batteries are about 4" inch square
> and are 4 or 7 amp.  I'm trying some waste exchanges, but thought
> I'd post in case anyone had any ideas.  Thanks.
> ============================================

Mr. Halsey,

    I would recommend a pollution prevention solution to this 
problem, consisting of three actions:

    1.  Improved maintenance of the batteries; the precise 
maintenance requirements and suggested procedures are (or should be)
available from the battery manufacturer.  Standard procedures for
maintaining vehicle SLI batteries are also applicable to these alarm
batteries, which I assume are back up batteries used when the power

    2.  Improved, more technically rigorous testing of the batteries;
recommend use of digital battery testing; recommend you contact
Midtronics at 719 599-9180; they have a good line of battery testers.

    3.  Use of pulse/solar technology, which can keep batteries 
charged and desulfated; recommend you contact Pulse Tech at 1 800 580
7554 and ask for technical assistance on this.  This equipment will
eliminate the need to change out the batteries and will increase the
batteries reliability, lowering costs and improving service for their
customers.  The equipment has National Stock Numbers and is being
installed on vehicles throughout the Department of Defense.           

    The larger issue here is the almost total neglect, by both the
regulatory community and the pollution prevention community, of the
enormous environmental and public health problems caused by lead acid
battery use and disposal.  Many are sent to other nations where they
are "cracked" and smelted with absolutely no pollution or health
controls whatsoever.

    We have problems at home, as well.  I pick up an average of one
abandoned lead/acid battery a month in the Washington, DC and Northern
Virginia area, on streets, in parking lots, and out of streams.  Some
are broken open, releasing lead into the environment.  I am not all
all confident that our national recycling effort for lead/acids is as
effective as it is claimed to be. I think it's really weak.  I think
we have become quite complacent about this item, despite the proven
toxicity of lead. 

  We in the P2 community need to end this problem by ecouraging the
use of both better battery technology and better maintenance
technology.  I urge all to become aware of the new technology, add
lead/acid batteries to your list of P2 options, and work to make
EPA/States aware of this problem.  A large part of the solution is to
extend the useful life of lead/acids as long as possible.  

    I hope this helps.


    Merrit Drucker
    703 318 4610

Richard Dooley
Environmental Management Specialist       
11251 Roger Bacon Dr.; M/S 4-3; Rm. #4009
SAIC - Pollution Prevention Division         Reston, VA  20190
e-mail:  rdooley@lan828.ehsg.saic.com
Ph: 703-318-4608                                    Fax: 703-736-0826