About 40 billion batteries were produced in the year 2000 and this number isincreasing at approximately 5% annually. A large number of these batteriescontain hazardous materials. Batteries also contain significant quantities ofimportant materials. Consequently the uncontrolled disposal of batteriespresents both a major risk to health and the environment and a significantwaste of valuable material resources. Recognizing the importance ofcontrolling battery waste disposal, worldwide government and industry efforts havebeen initiated to collect and recycle such wastes.Led by the OECD member states, legislation has been put inplace mandating the collection and recycling of cadmium, lead and mercurybatteries. Industry organizations have been established for the purpose of educatingthe consumer and developing collection/recycling programs. We may mention thePortable Rechargeable Battery Association (PRBA) and the Rechargeable BatteryRecycling Corporation (RBRC) in the U.S.A., and the European Portable BatteryAssociation (EPBA) and CollectNiCad in Europe. As a consequence of these lawsand programs, increasing quantities of spent batteries are being collected andrecycled.We wish to express our deep gratitude to the contributors of the variouschapters of this book and to the organizations and companies that haveprovided us general information and encouragement. Many of thesegroups have also contributed on a regular basis to the annual congressesorganized first in the U.S.A. by one of us (S.P. Wolsky) - Seminar on BatteryWaste Management - and later by others in Europe - Battery RecyclingCongress.Our goal has been to present in one volume a systematic and updated summaryof the important aspects of the battery waste issue. As such this book willbe of interest to all those working in thisimportant field.(preface)
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