DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Robert E. Finn, President and CEO of RSR Corporation, today praised IBM, AT&T, and Sprint for their decision to halt the export of their used lead acid batteries to Mexico for recycling due to concerns that battery recyclers in Mexico fail to meet adequate health and environmental standards. This prudent decision, posted on metal.com, underscores the need for an immediate and complete ban on spent lead acid battery exports from the United States to Mexico and other developing countries.
“IBM, AT&T, and Sprint deserve praise for their decisions to stop exporting lead acid batteries to Mexico,” said Finn. “Until the Mexican government gets serious about improving the oversight and regulation of its smelters or the Mexican recyclers improve their operations, each and every company that generates or traffics spent lead acid batteries has a moral obligation to ensure their battery waste does not put Mexican communities in jeopardy.”
For several years, RSR Corporation has led the charge against the export of spent lead acid batteries to underperforming smelters in Mexico and in other countries. As EPA and OSHA have tightened their standards for secondary lead smelters in the U.S., Mexico has failed to follow suit. As a consequence, Mexico’s smelters operate under emissions standards 36 years behind those deemed acceptable in the United States. Each year more than 1 billion pounds of spent lead acid batteries are shipped from the United States to Mexican smelters by companies looking to gain competitive advantage by exploiting Mexico’s weaker standards for the environment and the health of workers and communities in Mexico.
Even in the face of mounting criticism from non-governmental organizations like the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, (CEC) which last year released a landmark study on the threats associated with spent lead acid battery exports, Mexico continues to allow its smelters to emit lead at levels 140 times higher than their American counterparts.
RSR’s battery recycling subsidiaries in the U.S. have implemented dramatic improvements in technology and controls for reclaiming spent lead acid batteries and have achieved unparalleled performance in environmental controls and worker safety and health. RSR’s actions have been recognized with awards and accolades from state and federal officials. RSR’s facilities meet the ever tightening standards set by EPA and OSHA for responsible handling of lead. Lead is a truly sustainable metal, which can be recycled indefinitely, and is the critical component of improving batteries to power transportation and industrial applications worldwide, from advanced hybrid vehicles to providing continuous access in high speed 4G networks.
“RSR Corporation has worked with the CEC and other groups to push for an end to exports abroad and for tougher lead regulations here at home,” Finn added. “I call on all battery manufacturers and the retail chains that sell and collect lead acid batteries to follow the example set by IBM, AT&T, and Sprint. Until Mexico improves the oversight of its smelters, the practice of exporting spent lead acid batteries to Mexico must end.”
Learn more about RSR’s commitment to sustainable battery recycling here.