What is it?
A turnkey project for Rotary Clubs and a community-centric education and recycling program led by Rotary Clubs
The lithium-ion battery recycling program is held throughout communities across the United States, where Rotarians and other local organizations host collection events to recycle old household items that contain a rechargeable (lithium-ion) battery.
Consumer devices contribute to the world’s fastest-growing waste stream. Americans spend trillions on electronics and discard hundreds of millions of devices every year. Today, less than 5 percent of lithium-ion battery containing devices get recycled. There’s a huge opportunity to “urban mine” old products and build new, sustainable products while offsetting our need to mine the earth for new material.
Together, with Redwood Materials, we’ve hosted dozens of joint community events across the country, starting with a successful kick-off with Rotary Clubs of Los Altos, Cupertino, and San Jose in California, where we collected over 1700 pounds in one day!
Why it matters
As the world electrifies to combat climate change, lithium-ion battery demand is projected to increase by 500 percent in the coming years. These batteries will be needed for new electric vehicles and clean energy products but additionally, demand for rechargeable consumer devices is also increasing that source these same materials.
Batteries are in nearly every consumer device; from cell phones to laptops, e-bikes to scooters and electric toothbrushes to vacuum cleaners and power drills, consumer demand for rechargeable batteries is skyrocketing. And, as more electric vehicles hit our roads, we’ll need more and more batteries.
All lithium-ion batteries are made up of varying amounts of critical minerals like cobalt, copper, nickel, and lithium. Whether a laptop or an electric vehicle, lithium-ion batteries source the same elements on the periodic table. What’s perhaps even more incredible is that these metals can be recycled almost infinitely. Because metal atoms don’t degrade, recycled lithium or nickel units perform the same as newly mined material – in fact, sometimes even better! This creates a tremendous opportunity for recycling.
This program brings us one step closer to creating a domestic, circular supply chain for all end-of-life batteries and solving the environmental impacts of new products before they happen.
Why should I recycle?
- Keeps end-of-life lithium-ion batteries out of landfills.
- Helps increase the security of a domestic supply chain for raw battery materials.
- Supports domestic remanufacturing of lithium-ion batteries.
- Reduces the need to mine from the earth.
Who we are
Partners & our goals
Our project is led by Clari Nolet, Co-chair of the Los Altos Rotary Club Climate Action Committee and ESRAG Board member.
The goal of this program is to provide a turnkey project for Rotary Clubs across the U.S. to collaborate with Redwood Materials, to work together to offer convenient lithium-ion battery recycling events and futher educate the public about the importance of recycling lithium-ion batteries. This will help secure U.S. supply chains and support electric transportation and the electric grid.
Redwood Materials is creating a circular supply chain to drive down the environmental footprint and cost of lithium-ion batteries and the electric vehicles and sustainable energy storage systems they power. By developing fully closed-loop recycling for lithium-ion batteries here in the U.S., we can decrease our reliance on mining, lower the costs of clean technologies, and increase the sustainability of our products.
In partnership with one of the largest non-profit organizations, Redwood Materials is working side by side with Rotary Clubs of America to offer convenient locations for community members to recycle their lithium-ion batteries. The ESRAG- Redwood Materials collaboration will foster national change by providing education, awareness and initiating a movement to “mine the junk drawers of America” and recycle end-of-life lithium-ion devices and batteries. Together, we will collaborate to educate and provide Rotary Clubs with a turnkey project, building on the investment in informational materials to enable any Rotary Club to hold recycling events.
Take the survey
What do you know about lithium-ion battery recycling?