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Industry's e-bike battery recycling program getting underway

Published March 4, 2022
So far, more than 800 retailers are participating.

BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — The industry-wide U.S. e-bike battery recycling program officially began Tuesday with more than 800 retailers trained and equipped to handle expired or damaged packs returned to shops.

Through support from 17 OEMs, Call2Recycle, endorsed by PeopleForBikes, is administering the lithium-ion battery collection and recycling program, including providing recycling kits, transportation and logistics, safety materials, and rider education.

As of Tuesday, 840 retailers enrolled, including those who transitioned from the Specialized Bicycles Components’ pilot program into the industry-wide program, according to PeopleForBikes, which added that 84 retailers are enrolled as collection sites with more being added. As of Wednesday, there was at least one e-bike battery collection site in every one of the contiguous states, PeopleForBikes said.

"In my opinion, every brand who has signed up deserves some positive press, as does PeopleForBikes," said Troy Jones, Specialized social and environmental responsibility manager. "The PeopleForBikes Sustainability Working Group and e-bike committee, in partnership with Call2Recycle, have demonstrated our industry's commitment to being responsible stewards of the environment by creating an e-bike battery recycling program ahead of national or widespread state legislation. Brands that have yet to sign on face a potential backlash from environmentally conscious consumers and will have to scramble to comply with existing and pending legislation."

Companies presently funding the program are Alta Cycling Group, BikeCo., Bunch Bikes, Giant Bicycles, Hawley, Juiced Bikes, Kona, Live To Play Sports (Norco), Marin Mountain Bikes Inc., QBP, Robert Bosch LLC, Rocky Mountain, Shimano, Specialized, Tern Bicycles, Yamaha Motor Corporation, and Yeti Cycles.

"The enthusiasm and support for this program have been strong from the beginning, and we're seeing more and more brands reach out to join the program," said Ash Lovell, PeopleForBikes' e-bike policy and campaign director. "The number of brands who are participating is meeting our expectations for this phase of the project."

Lovell said the program still seeks more manufacturers to join.

"To make sure this initiative is truly industry-wide, we need to have diverse representation from manufacturers. We've designed the program so that it works for direct-to-consumer brands as well as brands that work with retailers across the country, so there should be something in this program for everyone."

PeopleForBikes announced the recycling program on Nov. 3. Retailers began enrolling in the program in February to become collection sites. Lovell said she expects more to join.

"Our goal before we open the program to the public is about 2,000 collection sites across the country. We are well on the way to this number, and we're speaking weekly with brands and retailers about the benefits of joining the program."

Go to Call2Recycle for more information about the recycling program and to join.

Topics associated with this article: DEI and Sustainability, Electric bike

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