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Clevertronics joins EXITcycle

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‘EXITCYCLE’ is an initiative from the Queensland Government and Lighting Council Australia to increase the recycling of Emergency and exit lighting batteries.

Nickel Cadmium (NiCd), Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) and Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) batteries from emergency lighting are extremely toxic and with recycling rates estimated at 5% they are ending up in our landfill, creating risks to the health of humans and the environment.

To combat this the Queensland Government and Lighting Council Australia have partnered in a program called ‘EXITCYCLE’ which is aimed at increasing the recycling rate of emergency and exit lighting batteries to prevent these toxic metals ending up in landfill annually. The dumping of batteries equates to approximately 90 tonnes of cadmium entering our environment which urgently needed to be addressed.

These three substances (Nickel, Cadmium and Lead) are known to have a harmful impact on both human and the environment so much so that the National Pollutant Inventory produced by the Australian Federal Government lists Cadmium, Lead, and Nickel among it 93 priority hazardous substances.

The Queensland Government  and Lighting Council Australia are encouraging corporate organisations, shopping centres and councils to sign up to ‘EXITCYCLE’ to show their commitment to recycle their emergency lighting batteries. The Queensland Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection, Dr. Steven Miles said the EXITCYCLE battery recycling initiative would begin with a 12 month pilot in Queensland. “We’re encouraging voluntary recycling action from big business and corporate groups to prevent emergency and exit light batteries from ending up in landfill. “The pilot will provide valuable information to feed into the development of a national rechargeable battery product stewardship scheme,” Dr. Miles said. “We are proud to support Lighting Council Australia and encourage the use of environmentally appropriate solutions to managing our wastes,” Dr. Miles said. The pilot is an initiative of Lighting Council Australia, with funding provided by the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

The EXITCYCLE program is a great initiative and will play a significant part in reducing the impact of these hazardous substances making it into our landfill and our environment.

The good news is that the remaining and growing 25-30% of the market is powered by an alternative battery, Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) which is not only a safer option has outstanding commercial benefits to the facility owner. The L10 range from Clevertronics can provide maintenance savings of 85% over equivalent NiCd batteries which can equate to over $1 million in savings over a seven-year period for a large facility.

The environmental impact of LFP battery technology is tiny compared with the damage caused by any of the three current technologies as shown in the table below

                                                                     Environmental Credentials

Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4/LFP)
Contains Toxic Heavy Metals or Carcinogens YES- Lead

YES

(Nickel & Cadmium)

YES

(Nickel)

NO
RoHS (EU) Directive Compliant

NO

(Exempted)

NO

(Exempted)

 

YES

 

YES
ATSDR (USA) Hazardous Substance Rating #2 (Lead)

#7 (Cadmium)

#57 (Nickel)

#57 (Nickel) #334 (Lithium)
Free of known and probable Carcinogens?

NO

(Lead)

NO

(Nickel & Cadmium)

NO

(Nickel)

YES
Recyclable YES YES YES YES
Recycle Cost to End User Equal Equal Equal Equal