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The EPA is convening battery recycling stakeholders of all kinds in work sessions that will begin in March, exploring such topics as battery labeling and collection best practices. | ShowcakeShutterstock

Battery manufacturers, nonprofits, local governments and others can share their experiences with and insights into battery recycling with the U.S. EPA during work sessions that are set to begin in March.

The EPA invited battery stakeholders to attend this year’s sessions during the Consumer Technology Association’s CES 2024 trade show last month in Las Vegas. 

The sessions will help EPA develop voluntary labeling guidelines, collection best practices and other tools to improve battery recycling efforts, hold onto critical minerals and ultimately make these increasingly important power sources more sustainable, EPA officials told the CES audience. 

“They’re foundational in helping us to move to an economy where we are mitigating climate change,” said Rick Kessler, senior advisor for implementation for the Office of Land and Emergency Management. “We have to consider end-of-life strategies to avoid the environmental impacts that could come if we don’t manage them properly.” 

Most of the work sessions will be virtual, Kessler added. They’ll fall along several tracks that each focus on a particular topic and group of stakeholders, such as those concerned primarily with portable or electric vehicle batteries. Specific dates haven’t been posted; those interested in participating can sign up for more information on the EPA’s website

The sessions are just a small piece of a massive EPA push into boosting the nation’s recycling programs, which has included the distribution of more than $190 million in grants for infrastructure, management and public education over the last year or so thanks to 2021’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. 

“We are just getting started, which is super exciting,” Nena Shaw, director of the EPA’s Resource Conservation and Sustainability Division, told the CES audience. She recalled when battery sustainability was only “a marginal issue” at her first CES trade show in 2018.

“Now, six years later, it is literally center stage,” she said.

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