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U.S. EPA sponsors workshop on spent lead acid batteries and “E-waste” in Tijuana, Mexico

Release Date: 12/03/2007
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute, (213) 244-1815, cell (213) 798-1404

(12/03/07) LOS ANGELES – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will host a free, bilingual workshop in Tijuana, Mexico, focusing on environmentally sound recycling techniques for spent lead acid batteries and electronic waste such as computers, printers, televisions, and cell phones.

The workshop takes place December 4 – 6, at the Grand Hotel Tijuana, and is sponsored by the EPA’s Border 2012 Program, a US-Mexico collaboration that improves the environmental health of nearly 12 million people living along the border, and the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, an international organization created by Canada, Mexico and the United States.

“Recycling spent lead acid batteries in an environmentally sound manner should reduce the potential for exposure to lead on both sides of the border,” says Matt Hale, Director of the U.S. EPA’s Office of Solid Waste. “The reuse and recycling of electronic equipment saves valuable resources like copper, iron, and petroleum because otherwise new resources would need to be extracted from the earth.”

A roster of international experts will present at the Tijuana workshops, including:
* Matthew Hale, Director, U.S. EPA Office of Solid Waste;
* Patricia Tovar - Red Mexicana de Manejo Ambiental de Residuos de Baja California, Mexico;
* Michael VanderPol, Environment Canada.

Lead acid batteries are typically used in automobiles, power industrial equipment, emergency lighting, and alarm systems. Much of the lead in these types of batteries can be recovered and reused. Recycling lead acid batteries keeps batteries from ending up on road sides or dumps, where lead could leak out and potentially enter the groundwater and pose a danger to human and environmental health.

In 2005, obsolete electronics, known as e-waste, amounted to approximately 1.9 to 2.2 million tons in the U.S. Of that, about 1.5 to 1.9 million tons were discarded in landfills or incinerators. Only 345,000 to 379,000 tons were recycled. The EPA is working to improve awareness of the need for recovery of e-waste and access to safe reuse and recycling options.

For more information, on the EPA’s e-waste recycling tips please visit: http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/hazwaste/recycle/ecycling/index.htm

For more information on the EPA’s Border 2012 program, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/usmexicoborder/

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