One of the most hazardous obstacles faced by e-scrap facilities is the risk of battery fire. Lithium Ion batteries can be especially dangerous when damaged, including causing fires and explosions, and many facilities do not have enough workers trained to handle them. In order to move scrap batteries safely downstream, facilities must make sure that select batteries are taped properly to prevent potential fires, and the process can be time consuming and costly over time.
Stewardship company Call2Recycle has developed a mixed-battery collection program that allows e-scrap processors and those who collect large amounts of batteries to ship rechargeable and single-use batteries without the need for fire prevention preparations. Launched in April by Call2Recycle, OneDrum services include kits with the necessary components, and will be transported in less-than-truckload shipments to processing facilities first in California and Indiana. The $1,500 OneDrum kits include 55-gallon drums, a pallet, CellBlockEX (a fire prevention material) and use of Call2Recycle’s U.S. Department of Transportation permit for battery shipment.
By collaborating with CellBlock Containment Systems and ERI, Call2Recycle’s managing director of services and solutions, Todd Ellis, stated that collectors build a “battery parfait” with layers of mixed batteries and CellBlockEX in the drum to suppress and extinguish any fires that occur inside the drum.
From 2020-2021 a dozen community programs took place in California, Washington state and Florida as part of a OneDrum pilot project with reported labor savings of about 80% by using OneDrum. As an alternative to sorting and taping batteries, OneDrum reduces labor expenses by cutting the 40 hours of work it would typically take to sort and tape to just a few hours. In addition, because there’s no need for multiple containers for sorting, OneDrum saves e-scrap enterprises time, money and space.
Chairman and CEO of ERI, John Shegerian gae his thoughts in a recent press release stating, “OneDrum is truly a trailblazing product, opening the door for even more innovation in the battery recycling industry and making these solutions more accessible to communities across the United States.”