We love lead
Lead is a metal that’s both soft and pliable, can conduct electricity, but more than that, it’s completely recyclable. It can be reused again and again and again. In fact, the car battery in your car or even in some electric cars today could quite easily be using the same lead that your grandfather’s car had way back when.
We, at Boliden, are a metals company with our own mines, smelters and recycling facilities. At our plant in Bergsöe in Landskrona, we recycle the lead from four million car batteries every year, and more than 97 percent of that metal is re-used. Did you know that a single car battery is composed of nine kilos of lead? Nine kilos of lead that can do a lot of good when recycled but nothing useful at all if it ends up as waste.
Every year, we at Boliden produce about 50 000 tonnes of recycled lead. It’s mainly sold to battery manufacturers, but there are others who are also interested in this useful metal. The X-ray rooms of hospitals are covered with lead since the metal protects against radiation. Lead is also used as a backup power source in mobile masts and in the future, there’s a big potential in using lead to capture energy from wind and solar energy plants. The need for lead has no end in sight. Rather, the market is expected to grow 40 percent by 2035.
One of our most important tasks at Boliden is to handle lead responsibly and safely. We follow all the stringent environmental regulations and constantly strive to ensure minimal impact on our immediate environment.
The excess heat we create from our recycling facility in Bergsöe covers the heating needs for 2000 local homes in the nearby Landskrona area.
All of this is what’s called the circular economy: reusing what’s already there and making sure that the metals that we receive get a new life. Unlike plastics and paper, metals can be recycled infinitely without losing their properties or quality. And when we re-use the earth’s resources, then we can make them last a lot longer.
So, recycle your old batteries and everyone wins; both you and the environment.