Why and How to Recycle Your E-bike Batteries

By Meilin Tsao, Sr. Manager, SB Santa Rosa

Lithium E-Bike Batteries

Lithium-Ion batteries, composed of lithium metals mined from deep in the Earth, are the main sources of power for electronically powered bikes (E-Bikes). E-bikes are a fantastic move towards a more sustainable future, especially here in the U.S, where about 60% of trips made in a personal vehicle (not including bikes) are less than 6 miles from the individual’s home (Energy-gov). E-bikes are great for people of all ages and interests, with the industry projected to more than double by 2027, growing more than 12% each year (source). The growth of the E-bike industry will hopefully lessen the demand for personal vehicle use, which will in turn lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions – the main source of pollutants contributing to the exponentially worsening climate crisis. This growing industry can contribute many benefits to our environment and the health within our society, but a way that the positive impacts can grow even further would be through recycling Lithium-Ion batteries.

Lithium-Ion batteries are made of lithium metals and other components. Unfortunately, the mining of lithium is extremely energy intensive and often leaves many negative impacts on the surrounding communities and environments. In places such as the mines in Chile and the proposed mine in Thacker Pass, Nevada, these mines use up to 2 billion gallons of water annually, in communities that are already stressed by drought conditions and fresh water sources. Additionally, mining laws in the U.S. and many other countries, especially low-income, are not up to date, for example the U.S. mining law dates back to 1872…and we still abide by it today. These laws, or lack thereof, do not develop positive relationships between the communities surrounding mines, and multi-billion dollar mining companies. The communities and environments in this area suffer tremendous negative impacts, from health issues, to water potency, to significant air pollutants and carcinogens. All of these reasons, and more, are why we should clean up the mining industry and reduce the need for virgin mining through the process of recycling!

Sports Basement recognizes all of the concerns surrounding lithium mining and climate change and we have instituted a Lithium-Ion battery recycling program at your local store! All Sports Basement’s have partnered with Call2Recycle’s E-Bike battery recycling program. Sports Basement will collect your dead, defective, or unwanted E-Bike battery and send it to Call2Recycle’s partner, Redwood Materials, for recycling. These batteries will be thoroughly assessed, taken apart, their parts will be recycled, and eventually they will become lithium car batteries. Lithium-Ion battery recycling closes the linear supply chain, turning it into a more circular economy. Sports Basement is beyond excited to participate in this positive environmental impact, stop by your local Sports Basement store to drop off your battery!

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