The Big Green Box

Battery Recycling Made Easy!

Recycling Technology

When it comes to battery recycling, one size does not fit all.  With such an array of different types of batteries, we have developed an equally diverse array of technologies to ensure each battery component is recovered and treated in the most efficient and environmentally-sound way possible.



Alkaline batteries consist of three primary components: zinc, manganese dioxide and steel. All these materials are completely recoverable and reusable in new products.

Alkaline batteries returned in the Big Green Box are sent to Retriev Technologies Inc. in Lancaster, Ohio. At this facility, the alkaline batteries are shredded to separate the steel casing from the zinc and manganese active materials.

The recovered steel is sent to a downstream mill for reuse in new steel products. In addition, the recovered zinc and manganese is processed through Retriev's patented hydrometallurgical process, which produces very high-grade zinc and manganese products.

The high-grade zinc and manganese can be used in countless new products. Presently, the manganese is used in the production of new alkaline batteries.


The primary components of Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) and Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries include nickel, cadmium (in NiCd only) and iron. Cadmium, in particular, is a very hazardous substance, which can cause serious bodily harm if not properly captured.

Both NiCd and NiMH batteries are processed at the Retriev Technologies recycling facility in Lancaster, Ohio. Retriev utilizes a pyrometallurgical process for component separation. Through this process the batteries are heated to a temperature that enables the recovery of cadmium and the removal of battery separator materials.  

Our process has been classified by the EPA as the Best Demonstrated Available Technology (BDAT) for cadmium recovery.

All components are captured using engineered environmental controls.  The resulting materials consist of cadmium ingots and a nickel-enriched iron material that can be reused as a raw material in many applications, including stainless steel production.


Li-Ion batteries typically consist of varied amounts of cobalt and copper.  In addition, depending on the design, Li-Ion batteries may also contain nickel, aluminum, and iron.

Li-Ion batteries returned in the Big Green Box are sent to Retriev Technologies in Trail, British Columbia.  At this facility, the batteries are processed through an automated crusher, which operates under a liquid solution to prevent fugitive emissions and to reduce the reactivity of the processed batteries.

This process produces two types of recoverable materials: metal solids and a metal-enriched liquid.  The metal solids contain varied amounts of copper, aluminum, nickel and cobalt, all of which can be refined and reused as raw materials in new products. The metal-enriched liquid is solidified using a Retriev filtering process and is sent downstream for further refinement.


Lithium metal batteries are one of the most reactive batteries currently being sold.  For that reason, when shipping these batteries, it's important the follow the detailed packaging guidelines provided with each Big Green Box. 

Lithium metal batteries returned in the Big Green Box are sent to Retriev Technologies in Trail, British Columbia.  At this facility, any highly reactive lithium metal batteries are pre-treated using a proprietary cryogenic process to lessen their reactivity and to allow for further processing.

All batteries are then fed by conveyor to an automated crusher, which operates under a liquid solution to prevent fugitive emissions and to reduce the reactivity of processed batteries. The resulting materials include metal solids and a lithium-enriched liquid.

The metal solids, typically including steel from the battery casing, are recovered and used as raw materials in various new products.  The lithium-enriched liquid undergoes a proprietary chemical process, which generates Lithium Carbonate, a raw material that can be reused in numerous industrial applications.


Lead Acid batteries primarily consist of lead metal and plastic casings, both of which are captured when recycled through the Big Green Box.

Lead Batteries are recycled at two locations: Kinsbursky Brothers Inc. in Anaheim, California and Retriev Technologies Inc. in Lancaster, Ohio.  Both locations use physical separation technology to remove the lead plates from the plastic casing.  This separation process is completely automated at the Retriev location.

The lead plates are shipped to EPA approved secondary smelters and will be converted into pure lead ingot for reuse in new batteries.  Likewise, the plastic casing is shipped to various plastic recyclers for reuse in new products.

The process may be different, but the result is always the same… Recycling that is both safe and produces the highest yield of recoverable materials.


If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-877-461-2345 or email