Gopher Resource CEO Shares U.S. Lead Battery Recycling Success Story with International Audience

Brian Leen Presents at 2022 World Materials Forum Held June 16­–18 in France

Gopher Resource CEO and President Brian Leen joined other influential thought leaders from around the world at the 2022 World Materials Forum to discuss how to meet future material needs. The June event is held annually in Nancy, France. This year’s theme, “Huge challenges ahead: Act out of the box,” was acutely relevant to the times.

Leen contributed his expertise in lead batteries’ recycling success and sustainability in the United States as a participant in a panel discussion on recycling EE waste including anticipated increases in the adoption of electric vehicles. Gopher Resource is one of the nation’s largest lead battery recyclers. The company recycles over 25 million spent automotive, industrial and stationary batteries each year, preventing them from going to landfills.

In addition, Leen presented on the essential role of Gopher Resource in making lead batteries the most recycled consumer product in the U.S., with a 99% recycling rate. The company’s advanced battery recycling process is critical to mitigating material shortages by turning spent lead batteries into valuable raw materials for new lead batteries and other products.

“The successful circular economy of lead batteries in the U.S., which is made possible, in large part, by U.S. lead battery recyclers, could be a model for countless other products and industries globally,” Leen shared. Some highlights from his presentation included:

  • A new lead battery in the U.S. will typically contain 80% recycled lead and plastic material. When that battery is spent and collected, the cycle repeats.
  • Without domestic lead battery recycling, the U.S. would need to import 1.6 million tons of lead.
  • 62% of U.S. lead demand is met by U.S. lead battery recyclers, providing supply chain security.

Leen also discussed the evolution of the lead battery recycling industry. He encouraged a progressive view on positive environmental impacts, as well as health and safety, to help guide regulators and industry development.

About the World Materials Forum

The World Materials Forum aims at giving a unique opportunity for leading politicians, academics and industry leaders from all countries to meet at the highest level to exchange visions and experiences on questions related to materials usage and availability. Participants focus on assessing the present situation and trends and designing innovative solutions for the future in a world of booming demand and increasing concerns for sustainability. The event takes place annually in Nancy, France.