- Battery recycling company Metal Conversion Technologies (MCT) has reached a $25,000 settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Georgia's Environmental Protection Division (EPD) over alleged safety and environmental violations, as reported by Resource Recycling.
- DOJ and Georgia originally filed a complaint against MCT in June. The allegations involved three fires and a variety of other issues that had occurred at the company's Cartersville facilities since 2006.
- According to the settlement reached on Aug. 3, MCT must pay $12,500 to DOJ and $12,500 to EPD. The company must also work with state and federal officials on soil and groundwater sampling, potential removal and implementation of multiple proprietary controls.
MCT opened its Cartersville operation in 2003 and claims to have recycled more than 17,000 tons of different batteries since then. While the company has said it's "pleased to have reached a settlement" MCT does not admit to any violation or fault.
After the first fire in 2006, investigators noted improper labeling and the disposal of shredded plastic with high levels of cadmium at a nearby landfill. Other storage issues were noted over the years and the company was found to be disposing of batteries encased in concrete in 2012. MCT also allegedly processed hazardous and universal waste without a permit in violation of state law and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
Battery recycling is in high demand, but like all types of waste the process poses unique environmental challenges to do so safely. Regulatory officials have shown great willingness to follow up on violations from many years back and it's always worth taking proper precautions to avoid expensive settlements or even prison time in the future.