A lot has changed since MCT founder John Patterson began recycling batteries over 30 years ago. Convinced of the growing need for responsible waste disposal, Mr. Patterson entered the world of battery recycling when the first generation of consumer-friendly rechargeable batteries began to fill the marketplace. The demand for batteries has increased in step with the demand for portable electronic devices. In this context, MCT finds that battery recycling has progressed from being an environmentally responsible perk to a complete necessity. Today, battery recycling has become widespread and codified. In recent decades, government offices like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have come onboard, formulating guidelines to regulate and facilitate the proper disposal and recycling of what they call “universal waste” products like batteries. Longtime battery recyclers like MCT’s John Patterson are glad to have the support of agencies with a vested interest in protecting the environment. While it is true that there have been great strides in technology and legislation regarding the effective recycling of batteries, MCT says there is still a long way to go. Battery recycling remains a process that needs a lot of energy. The fact remains that reclaiming battery metals requires as much as 8 times more energy than producing metals through traditional means, like mining. Despite this disparity, battery recycling is becoming more efficient every year. And producing metals through battery recycling means less mining and strip mining, which cause irreparable damage to the landscape. MCT estimates that only about 40% of consumer batteries, like laptop batteries and cell phone batteries, are being recycled currently. The low rate of return on rechargeable batteries is one reason the recycling process is still expensive. As more people get in the habit of recycling batteries and electronics, rather than throwing them away, recycling will eventually become the cheaper alternative because recyclers like MCT will have a steady stream of materials to process for recycling. The main motivation behind battery recycling is ecological and environmental health. The metals and chemicals in batteries are hazardous materials that can contaminate soil and drinking water. MCT works hard to make sure these hazardous materials stay out of the ecosystem and return instead to industrial usefulness.