Basel Convention Regional Center for Central America and Mexico shared the Advancements and Challenges related to the Management of Used Lead Acid Batteries in Geneva, Switzerland

The Director of the Basel Convention Regional Center for Central America and Mexico (BCRC-CAM) based in El Salvador, Mr. Miguel Araujo, presented yesterday a summary of its technology transfer activities, highlighting in particular the advances and challenges in the management of used lead acid batteries (known as ULAB), at the annual meeting of Directors of the Regional Centers of the Basel and Stockholm Conventions, which takes place in Geneva, Switzerland. The BCRC-CAM has been working in the management of ULAB for the past ten years in the Central American region, the Dominican Republic and Colombia, having technically supported the transformation or emergence of new ULAB recycling companies in an environmentally responsible way in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, and Colombia. Mr. Araujo shared in detail the case of Guatemala as it is the most successful due to its firm commitment as be a ULAB recycling plant, which has become a world model of low cost and high efficiency in the recycling of ULAB, but faces serious challenges from unfair competition in the region.

The positive transformation of Accumuladores Iberia was driven by the firm decision of its owner Hugo Novoa, who in addition to investing more than half a million dollars in renovating its facilities and establishing a permanent research and development program, received technical support from BCRC-CAM And its international expert Brian Wilson of the International Lead Association (ILA), Secretariat of the Basel Convention, as well as the Guatemalan Center for Cleaner Production, which was also complemented with training on ISO14001 funded by USAID. The transformation of Accumuladores Iberia allowed for the reduction of its waste from 30% to 1.76% (with the goal of obtaining zero waste in the next two years), the desulphurisation before introducing the material to the furnace, as well as the 98% reduction in The use of chemicals in the refinement of lead and the reuse of the battery electrolyte. The Basel Convention includes in its text the principle of treating wastes as close as possible to their generation, as well as the prevention and minimization of the generation of hazardous wastes and other wastes and their transboundary movements.

Boletín Informativo de la Secretaría General del SICA