The EPA is now looking to create a category of universal waste specifically for lithium-ion batteries at the request of the electric power industry. LIBs are in most of our electronics, including smartphones, laptops, tablets, smartwatches, and desktops, and are known for their explosive nature when damaged.
According to E-Scrap News, the EPA developed a universal waste classification within the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which allows the EPA to regulate the management of hazardous waste. The new classification allows for an alternative set of regulations for certain hazardous wastes that reduce the regulatory burden by allowing for longer storage of the materials and reduced recordkeeping.
“EPA supports the increased use of solar power and electric vehicles as integral emissions-free sources of energy and transportation in the fight against climate change,” a press release noted. “Like all energy production technologies, when solar panels and electric vehicles and other lithium batteries reach the end of their useful lives, their associated wastes must be responsibly recycled and managed.”
The universal waste category for LIBs would separate lithium-ion batteries from the existing general battery category to improve safety standards and reduce the risk of battery fires while continuing to promote battery recycling, the press release added.
Battery management is becoming increasingly critical in the waste industry, especially within the ITAD industry. The IT asset disposition process can be especially dangerous and lead to batteries being jostled or bumped by other pieces of hardware, resulting in a battery unexpectedly releasing its stored energy and beginning the self-heating process, which can lead to combustion.
As an R2v3, RIOS, and ISO-14001 certified IT asset disposition enterprise, HOBI follows an established set of industry safety standards in regard to the potential LIB fire risk, including a list of safe, approved tools and procedures used in the battery removal process.
For more information about our ITAD services, call 877-814-2620 or contact HOBI at email@example.com.