When Uniseg Products first released it Battery Transport & Storage (BTS) Container in 2015 we were underwhelmed with the response from the used lead acid batteries (ULAB) recycling industry. The industry seemed reluctant to change despite the many short comings of using wood pallets for the storage & transport of used lead acid batteries (ULAB) and the widespread non-compliance with the various dangerous goods and environmental regulations.
In response, we established our sister company, Battery Rescue, to demonstrate a safer more environmentally sustainable system for collecting used lead acid batteries (ULAB) for recycling. At the heart of Battery Rescue’s collection system is operating a closed loop container pool, using Uniseg’s Battery Transport & Storage (BTS) Container.
Battery Rescue, which services the Western Australia market, has continued to expand every year acquiring new customers more concerned with regulation compliance and reducing their environmental impact than chasing top dollar and cash payments for their batteries (nothing happening here ATO).
Many businesses are also realising the legal risks associated with the unsafe, non-compliant transport of lead acid batteries and want to ensure they are meeting their “Chain of Responsibility” obligations as a consignor.
Despite the successful growth of Battery Rescue, we continued to be frustrated with not being able to find an Australian Recycler willing to receive our batteries delivered directly to their facility for auto-unloading. This required us to manually unload the batteries from the Containers on to wood pallets for transport to the recycler.
A breakthrough occurred in 2022, with the commissioning of Nexus Recycling’s lead acid battery recycling plant in Western Australia, where we now deliver our BTS containers directly for auto-unloading. In addition, the lead acid recycler, V-Resources, in Logan, Queensland has indicated their willingness to receive batteries delivered in BTS containers for auto-unloading, although this is yet to occur.
Further progress has been made with our first sales of the BTS Containers to a Scrap Metal Company. The Scrap Metal Industry dominates the collection phase of lead acid batteries destined for recycling. We were wondering how long it would be before someone replicated what we were doing at Battery Rescue. This has recently happened with Metal Recovery Industries MRI, located in Central Queensland, purchasing 40 BTS Containers with future purchases anticipated as they roll out the BTS Containers to their customer base.
To us it makes sense that it is the battery collectors (scrap metal companies) that should be supplying the BTS Containers to customers as they can deliver empty exchange units at the same time as taking away the full BTS. They can also ensure the containers are cleaned and maintained. Up to now, Uniseg’s Customers were limited to using the container for battery storage only and having their collector manually remove the batteries from the container at their premises. Effectively our customers were missing out on the major benefit on having a safer method for transporting their batteries off site.
Is the tide finally turning in our mission to introduce a safer, regulation compliant and environmentally superior system for storing and transporting used lead acid batteries? We would like to think so. It certainly feels like we are gaining momentum.