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Learn to properly Sort, Sell, and Profit from your electronic scrap material.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2020 8:31 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2020 7:29 am
Posts: 1
I see a major problem with scrapping companies selling their stocks to China, etc.

... when they come back they come back not as batteries marketed as "recycled", but as fake Samsungs, LG's, and what-ever they think will "sell'. They hit eBay, and all the smaller retailers.

They package batteries with absurd ratings like 9999mAh capacities which fool the un-informed shop owners like vape-stores and the like. They tell them they're American made (there are no American companies that manufacture these batteries)... and the list of un-ethical practices go on.

I'd like to setup an ethical consortium that perhaps combines our efforts. I see a lot of you tubers and enthusiasts doing all this stuff themselves *properly*. They bin, test, weed out hot batteries ... and toss dead ones.

When you order fakes, you're getting none of this testing ... *at all* and gambling often with your life if you're putting one of these time bombs in an un-regulated vape device.

What I want is to find *local* sources (ideally), get rates similar or better than what they are shipping to China ... and regardless we'll end up saving money on freight and shipping.

The process for testing, binning, and re-wrapping with a fresh brand is simple. I just want to do it in an ethical way.

I've posted this a few other places, and there's definitely folks further down the road of building this kind of company than I am. Though I'd love to be involved, and loved to get this *right*. I lack huge funds, so I'd basically have to bootstrap ... convince suppliers perhaps to give me a little faith ... and start investing in the tools I'd need to properly do this. As well was, look into what-ever legal ramifications there might be in selling recycled batteries, and what it would take to warrantee them.

I'm not out there trying to get people to sign NDA's since it seems like 1) such an obvious idea and if I don't do it someone else will 2) I'd just like to see it done ... I'm tired of being ripped off ... I'm tired of reading stories about 16-yo's building packs for their drones that are ticking time bombs .... you get the idea. I just want to see this happen... *ethically* .. *properly*.

Likewise I think with the trend towards "green" people will be chomping at the bit to build their power walls with recycled gear. Maybe the elitists with deep pockets will shell out $8/cell for the finest they can buy. Though if we can hit a price point of $3-4 for anything that bins above 3000mAh ... and $2-3 for anything that bins in the 2200-2800mAh range .... well I think we'll have a REALLY competitive product.

... so long as we can factor in the failure rate and put a *solid* warrantee on these suckers :)

Americans love a quality product, and love deals even more. I think with a project like this we could achieve something even better.

Now there's a lot of folks out there with some of the resources really to already start doing this... it just seems like a logistics problem... a motivation issue... and an organizational issue.

If there's anyone interested even in the slightest ... please get in touch. Or just steal the idea for yourself, I'd really just like to see this happen ... I'd like to kill this Chinese re-wrap market with fire and don't even care if I get to benefit :)

PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2020 1:51 pm 
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You aren’t the first to consider this at all.
Two small companies do this already... nationally but in regional blocks.

The single largest stumbling block is US regulation.
Doing this from scratch puts you at day one for regulations at every level.
There are regs for
Materials handling
Canister and packet safety
Return collection

Keep in mind in both the US and EU (and some prefectures in Japan), any company that manufactures a monitored power distribution device (generally battery, but includes high capacity capacitors) is required to have some sort of spent return program for recycling.
Unfortunately these return programs are the source of most of the exported batteries.

The good news is China has closed acceptance of most escrap/ewaste from the US, EU members, UK, Canada, and Singapore. Add to that Trump’s trade rulings and China takes very little of our escrap today.
Unfortunately batteries are not part of the blockade.

My suggest is to gather a few industry insiders (such as emailing Chris et al with a business plan). Then approach an investment firm with a joint plan to discuss it with a business advisor.
JP Morgan, G/S etc.
These firms don’t charge much for basic advisories. And they can give you packages of info with every contact you need to make board and body wise from such proceedings.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2020 2:42 am 

Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:22 pm
Posts: 9
Location: Upper Midwest
I would love to see what chromakey's describing at a national level. However, I'd just like to parrot Lost's assessment here, and add my experience.

Notwithstanding federal regulations, each state has its own set of hazardous materials regs to work within, some counties after that, and some municipalities after that. Depending on the state/county/city in question, some of the required certifications and registrations can take time and money to acquire, though you can usually operate while waiting for your approval. Any member of this consortium would likely have to go through all the regulatory steps their municipal, county, and state government required to join, especially if this idea got any kind of livable-income-off-this-idea traction. I question whether potential members would consider it worthwhile.

I don't want to make this a "story time" post, but here it is, anyways. I would shy away from an effort like this. Prior to getting my hobby scrapping and refurbishing operation square with my state, county, and city regulators, I used to test every 18650 I got. I would assemble and package packs for e-bikes and power tools, then sell them or use them for repair. After I got registered, and learned more about battery regulations, I stopped entirely. There's way too much extra scrutiny (in my case, at the county level) surrounding rechargeable batteries. A whole new set of inspections, transport manifests, and mandatory reporting. Every single battery needs to be accounted for. I even got virtually inspected in September - covid-19 won't stop them. Don't even get me started on shipping interstate. It just isn't worth it for me. My regular 9-5 is as a preschool / ECFE administrator and believe me, batteries are 10 times better regulated than providing care for 2-5-year-olds where I am, and that includes several tiers and funding sources for scholarships. Think about that. What I'm saying is, the *local* sources part concerns me; you aren't going to get Joe Schmoe Repair Shop's materials without some effort on Joe Schmoe's part.

Here's another part to consider, and it's kind of a digression (pardon me): battery manufacturers have never focused on improving recyclability. All the industry seems to focus on is longevity and capacity. What would an organization like the one you envision do with the countless deads you end up with? The recycling mantra dictates: there's a market for anything, so long as there is enough of it. One exception seems to be li-ions. They are hard to recycle and basically have to be treated like ore. It's expensive. It's costly. It's just plain hard. How will your idea account for the batteries that inevitably end up being disposed of, financially and ethically?

Okay, let me back away from the pessimism for a second.

Lost's business capital advice is spot on. Your idea is doable and worthwhile, even if it hasn't been done the way you envision yet. My advice: bring an environmental attorney in, even just as a consultation, preferably before you make some partnerships in industry and secure financing. You need to be able to answer regulator questions in those relationship-building conversations. You create the right framework, and even Joe Schmoe will participate if the money materializes for them. You get people buying green, recycled 18650-based powerwalls and you'll be able to make it worth his while.

Heck, you get lost's advice done, this Joe Schmoe will work with you financially and materially.

I just want to add a final thought: it is absolutely nuts that good, ethically sound ideas like yours get drowned in regulatory quagmires. My state regularly busts ordinary scrappers trying to make a living for their families and fines them for not complying. Blood from a turnip. (/rant)

PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2020 6:24 am 
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Ok. A real reply later when I’m sober. Happy turkey far to all of yall

I am a die hard 100% all in believer that anything man makes man can unmake.

If Australia can turn tonka toys into fencing... there’s no limit

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2020 1:36 pm 
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I already steal nicad cells from packs.
It’s amazing that best practice in nicad packs guaranteed unequal expenditure of power.
Every time I find a nicad package I will open it up. I remove the cells from the case. Very carefully desolder the cells from the connectors. And use a ceramic grit buzzer (grinding bit) on my drill to clean tops and bottoms.
You can add tin solder needs to the positive side to charge and then use them.

The problem with battery recycling is regulation. A combination of extreme fear and ignorance at government levels, and extremely ignorant fear, has lead to some of the most bizarre regs in world history.

Nicad batteries have zero issue at 10 or 20 atmospheres let alone 2 in a cargo hold.
Lithium batteries don burst from low temperature or freezing or on their own. Samsung’s explode because the cells became exposed to AIR.

There’s no real regulation on lead acid batteries which exhaust hydrogen under pressure.
A car battery is far more likely to go boom in an airplane hold than anything else.

Lead acid batteries can be used forever. Drain the HCL, clean and mend the plates, and refill.
Nicad should be banned. Period. They’re far more toxic than mercury and more likely to have a failure.
They may not go boom but they leak and the mess is extremely toxic.

I don’t hide my fear of lithium. But that’s ‘cause I’ve had them burst on me. Granted never on their own. Always something I or someone before me did that was abusive.

Lithium dry cells (think AA) would be a financial payday for anyone who could get something up and running.
Dealing with wet cells like the ones in phones and cars is a bit more work.
For one thing you need to figure out a way to direct the reaction out of the battery in disassembly.
Figure that out you’re left with many valuable materials.

I’d also say if you did get something together I have zero doubt the international battery manufacturers would be calling you day one. They want to make batteries, not deal with waste.

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