As the popularity of electric vehicles starts to grow explosively, so does the pile of used batteries. Only about half of them are currently recycled. New EU regulation could boost investment in the nascent industry.
Household batteries have changed in their makeup, making recycling increasingly complex
In the yard of the Redux recycling company in Bremerhaven, Germany, a truck is slowly backing into a slot at a cargo ramp. A forklift driver is waiting to unload its cargo of grey barrels, each one of them marked with a green banderole. As he shows the driver where to store the barrels, production manager Alexander Schwarz explains that the green package band signifies “household batteries.”
Redux is a recycling specialist for these types of batteries. The plant in Bremerhaven has a capacity of processing about 10,000 tons of them every year and is run by Chief Executive Martin Reichstein and Managing Director Detlef Schmeer.