Lithium battery recycling is a major issue.
In a recent article, we showed that 11 million tons of used lithium batteries will likely accumulate before the year 2030.
Contrary to popular belief, lithium batteries are recyclable up to 97%.
Lithium battery recycling has many advantages:
- Protect the environment
- Recover critical materials
- Generate incomes
- Reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions
- Contribute to the circular economy
If your lithium solar battery is dead or damaged you must dispose of it properly by recycling.
Nowadays, you can find convenient collection points for small lithium batteries (found in electronic gadgets, phones, laptop, power tools…) almost everywhere.
However, most of them won’t accept solar batteries, this is mainly due to their high capacity (above 300Wh).
Therefore, you might wonder where can I take my dead lithium solar battery?
To write this article, we have done some thorough research in order to find out how and where you can recycle your old solar battery.
We will focus on recycling in 4 countries:
Let’s start with some general recommendations before taking your lithium battery for recycling.
5 Preparation Steps Before Recycling Your Lithium Battery
First of all, lithium batteries are high energy density batteries (lots of energy stored in a small space). They store electricity in the form of chemicals (electrochemistry) and contain hazardous materials.
This is why, they should never be mixed with household garbage or put in municipal recycling bins.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, you should contact your battery dealer/manufacturer or one of the companies specialized in recycling high energy lithium batteries. You will find these companies in our article.
Lithium battery recycling companies will ask you to follow 5 steps before collecting or shipping your battery.
1. Asses the general condition of your battery
This first step is needed to check if your battery could be safely transported to the recycling plant.
Perform a visual inspection of your lithium battery. Look if the battery is blotted, discolored or leaking. Mention any shock the battery could have received or if the battery was exposed to external heat.
Finally, let the recycling company knows how your lithium battery died (end-of-life, fault…).
2. Check your battery voltage
Measuring your battery voltage is important.
Even if the performance of your lithium battery is too low for your solar system, it might still be OK for other applications.
Therefore, if your lithium battery still has sufficient voltage it won’t be recycled right away, but up-cycled to extend its service lifetime.
3. Check your battery capacity
This information is important as the transportation of high-capacity batteries is regulated, like in the US for example.
4. Weigh your battery
The weight of your battery is an important parameter for transportation.
A 1 kwh lithium battery often weighs more than 26lbs, therefore transportation should be adapted to your batteries weight.
5. Prepare your battery for collection or shipment
Start by isolating the two battery electrodes by wrapping the tips with electrical tape.
Follow the recommendations laid out by the recycling company to prepare the packaging.
Some companies will directly collect your old lithium battery, others will send a special packaging and you will handle the shipment.
Now that you are ready to take your solar lithium battery for recycling, check our list of lithium battery recycling companies.
Lithium Battery Recycling in the United States
Consequently, the options for recycling your lithium battery are limited.
In our article, you will find a list of companies that recycle lithium batteries for solar energy storage (LiFePO4, LTO..) in the US.
You can send or drop off your dead lithium batteries directly at their factory.
- Contact: email@example.com
- Location: 2401 Conestoga Dr., Carson City, NV 89706
Retrievetech is a global leader in battery recycling and management with 20 years of experience in lithium battery recycling and materials recovery. They have a dedicated customer service that will assist you to prepare your battery for recycling.
- Contact: Info@RetrievTech.com
- Location: 265 Quarry Rd SE, Lancaster, OH 43130
KBI is a major player in lithium battery recycling. They have more than 40 years of experience in recycling batteries and catalytic converters. They recycle all types of lithium batteries including solar batteries. Their proprietary recycling technologies ensure a high level of material recovery and compliance with environmental and safety procedures.
- Contact: https://www.kbirecycling.com/contact-us
- Location: 125 E Commercial St, Anaheim, CA 92801
OnTo Technology is an expert in the whole lithium battery recycling process: from battery deactivation to material recovery to producing new cathode material. They use a patented technology developed by their team of scientists.
- Contact : firstname.lastname@example.org
- Location: 63221 Service Rd Suite F, Bend, OR 97703
American Battery Technology Company has developed a closed-loop recycling process to separate and recover all critical metals from used lithium batteries. They also refine the recovered metals to battery-grade standards which are then put back into the battery manufacturing industry.
- Contact : email@example.com
- Location: Nevada
Battery Resourcers is producing cathode material for lithium batteries, with all material sourced from recycling. They offer recycling services, with a closed-loop process, that can recover 97% of the lithium battery metals. Their team of professionals will guide you to prepare your shipment (packaging and documentation).
- Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Location: 54 Rockdale St, Worcester, MA, 01606
Call2Recycle is the leading consumer battery recycling program in the US. They benefit from a vast network of thousands of collection points, scattered all over the country. You could either drop-off your battery for free at one of the many convenient locations across the US or ship your lithium battery to them.
(Note that they only accept batteries below 800Wh.)
Lithium Battery Recycling in Australia
Let’s find out where you can take your dead lithium battery for recycling in Australia:
Enirgi offers a single-point contact for all recyclable battery types including used lithium batteries for energy storage. You could either drop off your used solar battery at one of their collection points scattered all over the country or schedule a pick-up.
- Contact : email@example.com
- Location: 1-3 Lakewood Boulevard, Braeside VIC 3195, Australia
TES is a global leader in electronic waste recycling. They operate in more than 30 countries; they repurpose and recycle lithium batteries for energy storage. Their main factory in Singapore uses their proprietary process, recognized for its high recovery rate (90%) and purity (>99%) of the recycled materials.
- Contact : Info.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Location: 1 Marple Avenue, Villawood NSW 2163
PO Box 448
Chester Hill NSW 2162, Australia
ECOBATT is Australia’s leader in battery recycling. They are specialized in safe collection, processing and recycling of battery products. You could either drop off your lithium battery at one of their collection points scattered all over the country or contact them for a pick-up.
- Contact: email@example.com
- Location: 5-11 Reo Crescent Camp bellfield VIC 3061
Envirostream was created in 2017 with the ambition of becoming a leader in lithium battery recycling. Their proprietary recycling process, allows them to recover up to 95% of all metals used in a lithium battery. They have designed a range of battery collection units to ensure a high level of safety during transportation.
To recycle your lithium battery with Envirostream you could either: find a drop-off point or send them your battery in a specially designed collection box.
- Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Location: 606 High Street, Kew, Victoria 3101, Australia
You can recycle your lithium batteries through ECOACTIV online platform. ECOACTIV does not operate a recycling facility, but they will safely transfer your battery to the adequate recycling plant either in Australia or abroad. In addition, they can also recycle electronic waste, and solar panels.
- Contact: email@example.com
- Location: Their service is available everywhere in Australia
Lithium Battery Recycling in Canada
In Canada, there are only 2 companies that recycle lithium solar batteries. However, in the near future more companies are planning to start their operation.
Li-cycle recently hits the headlines for its efficient recycling process; They claim to recover more than 95% of all materials of a lithium battery. Li-Cycle offers a full-service solution for recycling lithium batteries, including logistics management to safely collect and transfer the dead lithium batteries.
- Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Location: 2351 Royal Windsor Drive, Unit 10, Mississauga, Ontario L5J 4S7, Canada.
VEOLIA is a global player in waste collection and recycling. They offer safe battery packaging and collection. After recycling your battery, Veolia will issue a certificate documenting your batteries were received and managed in accordance with all regulations.
- Contact: email@example.com
Lithium Battery Recycling in the UK
There are only 3 companies to recycle your lithium batteries in the UK:
WasterCare is a national recycling management company which can recycle all type of waste, including lithium batteries. They are able to collect your dead lithium battery at your home thanks to their fleet of more than 100 vehicles.
- Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Location: Richmond House, Garforth, Leeds, LS25 1NB
Cawleys offers a full service of waste management (from collection to recycling). Their engineers are trained to deal with high energy storage systems like lithium batteries. The company works closely with selected partners to recover all materials possible from your solar batteries.
Contact them for the collection of your old lithium batteries
- Contact: https://www.cawleys.co.uk/contacts/
- Location: 1 Covent Garden Close, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU4 8QB
Fenix is specialized in battery collection and recycling. They are a leader in recycling innovation thanks to their own R&D team. They recycle all types of batteries and offer an innovative digital collection system to book a pick-up.
- Contact: https://fenixenv.com/contact-us
- Location: Field street, Willenhall, West Midlands, England, United Kingdom
Together with silicon, it plays a key role in our ongoing energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable and smart energies.
Consequently, one can understand that it is of outmost importance that lithium batteries have a smart recycling process. We should learn from past errors that are now causing environmental disasters and threatening life on earth.
Presently, lithium battery recycling is still a growing industry.
However, the industry is on the verge of major recycling developments mainly influenced by the electric vehicle market.
It is because of this that in the near future, there will be even more options to recycle or upcycle your old lithium batteries.