By the end of this week, the U.S. Department of Energy has announced that it has successfully recycled over 4,000,000 of its $10 billion dollar investment in the Uptown Renewable Energy Laboratory (URL).
At the time of writing, the lab is in the process of recycling 1.5 million tons of aluminum and copper for use in the batteries of new solar cell manufacturing and batteries for electric vehicles.
The U.K.-based research group, which is part of the Department of Defense, has also successfully recycled 3.5 billion pounds of aluminum for its new lithium-ion batteries, which are now in development.
The U.A.E. has been working to recycle aluminum and other materials since at least 2013, when the company began testing a solar cell in a lab at the University of Exeter in the UK.
“We’re pleased to see that our recycling program has achieved this milestone,” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at a press conference last week.
As for aluminum, the waste management agency says it has already recycled 5.5 percent of the total amount of aluminum produced by the ULL, making the program a great success.
The ULL is the Unequal Distribution of Recycled Materials Facility (UDMFR) for recycled aluminum, with the largest share coming from recycled aluminum products.
U.S.-based recycler M&M Corp. said it was also working on a plan to use recycled aluminum in its own products, including batteries and electric vehicles, as well as batteries for cars.
A recent report by U. S. recycler Solid Waste Management, a nonprofit group that works to protect landfills, estimates that recycled aluminum could be used in the next 30 years to make up nearly 30 percent of all the aluminum produced worldwide.
But it’s unclear how ULL and other recycling efforts will impact existing aluminum-making facilities.
For instance, aluminum-containing batteries used in vehicles and other products that are now made of copper and aluminum, are currently made from lead, which can be toxic.
ULL’s aluminum recycling program is aimed at making them safer and cleaner.