Reclaiming metals from electronic waste and batteries is a growth industry. Entrepreneurs interested in this industry will find opportunities in BC’s Lower Columbia, already known for its leadership and capacity in this area.
Electronic Waste Recycling
In 2006, Teck Trail Operations implemented a new recycling process to reclaim metals contained in end-of-life electronics, also known as electronic waste, thereby keeping this material out of landfills and producing valuable metals that do not have to be mined.
Although Retriev Technologies is incorporated in California, they located their lithium battery recycling plant in BC’s Lower Columbia.
The decision was based on:
- a regional workforce that understands metals;
- government regulators used to dealing with metals;
- the region’s accessible border crossings. (The US military is a key customer.)
Other factors included a local source of liquefied argon and potential synergies with Teck Trail Operations.
In cooperation with the British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Teck Trail Operations is continuing its tests related to the recycling of zinc alkaline batteries.
Teck Trail Operations developed the first lead-acid battery recycling program in Canada 20 years ago. Today, used lead-acid batteries are received from all over North America and the recycled lead from these vehicle batteries composes up to 20 percent of the total refined lead produced at Teck Trail Operations.
Currently, K-C Recycling Ltd. operates the largest lead-acid battery recycling plant in Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest out of its location in BC’s Lower Columbia.