Today kicked off the E-Scrap 2018 Conference in New Orleans! And to start off on a the right foot, HOBI International’s president, Craig Boswell, spoke alongside Todd Ellis of Call2Recycle and Todd Coy of Kinsbursky Brothers, Inc. to present the best practices for batteries in the ITAD space.
The workshop took an in depth look at the different types of batteries coming into facilities and delved into the proper removal, storage, testing and repair, installation and transportation practices. As technology continues to take off, thermal events continue to be an issue at many facilities, where product design often makes it difficult or impossible to remove these batteries.
Boswell jokes that speaking at such events almost feels as if he were attending a self-help group after addressing the audience with his intro: “My name is Craig Boswell and yes, I have experienced a thermal event.”
He goes on to say that “thermal events are inevitable. It is impossible to be in the ITAD space without experiencing a thermal event.” He notes that it is just a matter of having practices in place to not only help ITAD facilities ride out the explosive event but to help minimize the risk of future thermal events happening.
“When something like a thermal event happens, it is human instinct to grab the problem and try to deal with it. However, of course, if we act on that instinct we will end up getting hurt. At HOBI, we train employees to sweep the combusted battery off of the workbench with a tool, step back from the battery and let the combustion fizzle out on its own. They will then fill out a report, which we thoroughly analyze to get a good understanding of what happened and how we can correct it,” Boswell comments.
Lithium-ion batteries is not just the technology of today, but of the future as well. Seeing as how they are in nearly all consumer electronics we can think of, they won’t be going away anytime soon. Therefore, ITAD vendors should embrace the fact that thermal events will continue to be an inevitable issue.
During this workshop, this group of industry experts from collectors, processors, and repair/reuse companies shared insights in to the key industry problems and solutions to improve both safety and potential value recovery.