Cirba Solutions

General Motors Battery Recycling

We Know Batteries.
Period.

And safety is our #1 priority.

GM_Gradient_Brandmark_RGB

we are

Paving the future by
recycling the past

Cirba Solutions has been a leader in battery recycling sustainability and end-to-end solutions for 30 years. With a commitment to conserving natural resources from spent batteries, diverting them from landfills through scalable programs. Handling all battery chemistries, sizes, and formats, Cirba Solutions charts a path forward for their customers by supporting fully traceable end-of-life management services and products.

Recharging The Recycling Conversation

GM and Cirba Solutions continue to recharge the conversation about battery recycling from supporting EV battery recycling to the millions of pounds of household batteries recycled, or when they create impactful engagement opportunities. 

Data from 2017-2022 

How household batteries get recycled

Household Battery Recycling
  1. Extensively trained battery recognition experts sort batteries to handle them safely, and properly identify and categorize them.
  2. The batteries then go to processing, which is done in-house without producing emissions. Experts separate the batteries into three components. One of them is zinc and manganese concentrate that is repurposed as a micronutrient in fertilizer.

How electric vehicle batteries get recycled

Electric Vehicle Battery Recycling

GM’s partnership with Cirba Solutions includes a program to recycle preproduction, production scrap and end-of-life batteries. This includes packs, cells, modules and damaged batteries. 

Example of Electric Vehicle Disassembly

Reintroducing these materials into the value chain is not always easy, especially when it comes to EV packaging. But, Cirba Solutions and its partners have a solution.  Their next life? Some electric vehicle batteries that come in cocoon containers become raised garden beds.

The reuse and repurposing of the cocoons and leveraging fertilizer made from recycled batteries is a true example of supporting the circular economy.

  • Support our local community
  • Provide access to fresh produce
  • Support well-being
  • Give access to all and create a sustainable solution.

Supporting our communities, together

Working with a wide range of teams here, Cirba Solutions keeps education at the-forefront of battery recycling. With our shared efforts, we have provided our communities with information about sustainability and tools to recycle their end-of-life batteries.

We have also provided 7 school districts, over 300 students in grades 5-9 access to battery recycling around Michigan by providing a lesson plan outline, educational video and a virtual Cirba Solutions tour.

EPA's Cited Benefits

  • Reduction in waste sent to landfills
  • Conservation of natural resources, such as metals and minerals
  • Helps prevent pollution by reducing the need to collect new, raw materials
  • Saves energy spent on refining virgin materials
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change
  • Helps sustain the environment for future generations
  • Helps create new, well-paying jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries in the United States
  • Once the materials are recycled they can be reused in making new products

Benefitting the Environment

Identifiers

Identifying what kind of batteries you have is simple, just look on the sides of the battery for the chemistry name and/or the voltage.

The crossed-out garbage can is a common symbol found on rechargeable (including lithium-based) batteries. If you see it and cannot further identify the battery, tape the terminals just to be sure.

Most batteries have either the full name or chemical abbreviation of their base battery chemistry somewhere on the outer shell.

  • Cover the terminals of the battery with clear tape in the areas indicated in red.
  • Batteries for tools may have multiple terminals around a similar area, so make sure each is covered completely.
  • Use only clear/translucent tape, electrical or duct tape prevents battery identification.

Taping Tips

battery recycling

Quick Reference

Want a quick visual look at what batteries need taping, or how the program works?

Frequently Asked Questions

Definitely! We recycle everything from the button cells in a hearing aid to 5,000 lb lead acid backups, from a Model T battery to the newly engineered research batteries being developed for the electric vehicles of tomorrow, and beyond. 

We can handle any size, any volume, any chemistry, from anywhere in North America.

An old or breached alkaline battery may leak or have corrosion on the terminals. Place this battery in a sandwich or other clear plastic bag before placing in your collection container. 

If a lithium-based battery is swollen, cracked, or exhibiting odd charging behavior, it may be damaged. These batteries require special consideration like our Damaged Battery (DDR) Kits.

Always! Check out our Recycling Benefits page to learn a bit more about what recycling batteries can do for you and the planet.

Batteries are made of many metals and alloys, all of which are a limited natural resource. The demand for these materials is quickly outpacing the planet’s mine-able capacity. By recycling instead of landfilling, even alkaline batteries can make a difference in the circular economy.

Please don’t! Those batteries are fully recyclable and, via our room temperature processing line, can become new steel products, brick colorant, and even fertilizer for corn and soybean farmers.

Our pails are covered by our special permit, meaning any non-spillable battery chemistries and battery-containing devices can be commingled in this pail.

This includes:

  • Alkaline
  • Zinc Carbon
  • Nickel Cadmium (NiCd)
  • Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH)
  • Lithium-Ion
  • Lithium Primary
  • Mercury Batteries
  • Silver Oxide
  • Button Cells
  • Lead Acid – Non-Spillable
  • Small Electronics (cellphones, tablets, wireless headphones and earbuds, smart watches, activity trackers, powertools, etc.)

Need help identifying a battery? Check out our battery types database to see if your battery fits one of those categories.

Still stumped? Email the Battery Experts.

We are headquartered in Wixom, MI and have a southwest center in Mesa, AZ.

Our service range extends across the continental US and into Canada and Mexico.

Both our audit packet and compliance certifications are accessible from our Documentation page.

Most batteries can go directly into the pail. Lithium-based batteries and any battery over 9 volts must have their terminals protected by clear (not opaque) tape. Some batteries have terminals that are protected by design, these batteries do not need to be taped.

Do not use opaque tape (including duct, electrical, painter’s, patterned), as these types interfere with battery identification.

Your pail is already labeled to ship back for processing. Simply schedule a pickup and hand it off to your regular UPS driver. Or, drop it off at your local UPS store.

Have a pallet full of pails? See our pallet shipping instructions for further information.

Michigan Recycling Resources

General Michigan Resources

County & City Resources

Serving the communities of Farmington, Farmington Hills, Milford, Milford Township, Novi, South Lyon, Southfield, Walled Lake, Wixom

Serving the communities of Berkley, Beverly Hills, Birmingham, Clawson, Ferndale, Hazel Park, Huntington Woods, Lathrup Village, Oak Park, Pleasant Ridge, Royal Oak and Troy

Have Questions?

Our battery experts can help you align your program with your sustainability goals.

Shopping Cart