What is Lead Recycling?
Just as the name suggests, lead recycling is the process of reclaiming and reusing materials which are no longer of use in their present form. As with any form of recycling, the reuse of lead assists in the protection of environmental resources both by reducing waste as well as limiting the need for new raw materials. However, you may be surprised to discover some of the unique factors of lead recycling specifically.
Lead stands as one of the most highly-recycled materials around the world, surpassing even everyday items including newspaper and glass products. It is also the most frequently recycled metal of those in common use, tallying much greater volume than zinc, copper, or even aluminum. In fact out of all consumer goods, the world’s single most-recycled product is lead-acid batteries.
To highlight the efficiency of this type of metal, the International Zinc Study Group estimates that 75 percent of all lead is reused at some stage. The recycling process itself is efficient, consumes relatively low energy and assists in reducing carbon emissions as result. As an added benefit, lead can be recycled repeatedly with little degradation in quality versus freshly-mined materials.
Secondary lead production accounted for over half of the global product in 2013, or 6.7 million tons. In Europe, secondary production accounted for 74 percent of all lead; in the United States, it accounted for the entire 100 percent of lead produced in 2013. It’s clear to see that this form of recycling provides a substantial benefit in the fight to preserve natural resources.
Present day, the most common use for this material is in lead-based battery technology, which accounts for over 80 percent of all usage globally. Lending a great hand to lead’s strong recycling rate, over 95 percent of batteries are returned for reuse via automotive dealerships, retailers, and dedicated recycling organizations. Batteries are then transported to smelting plants where they are broken down and separated by material properties.
Lead is smelted and then refined, creating material that can be used in new batteries as well as many other products. One can find lead everywhere from construction materials to shielding used for protection against radiation in medical applications. Of additional benefit, the other materials which make up the battery are generally reused as well, maximizing efficiency.
As the focus sharpens on eco-friendliness, lead recycling will continue to represent a crucial process in the search for fully-sustainable practices. It stands as an exemplary standard which other programs must strive for in order to attain an ideal path forward, one where the vast majority of materials will be reused repeatedly for a truly sustainable society. For more information about lead recycling in San Jose, please visit this website.
With the advantage of having lots of experience in the Recycling Industry, Dustin shares his knowledge through his writing. You can find his thoughts at recycling news on Blogspot.
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