Transponder News

A news service reporting on developments regarding the use of radio based tagging transponder systems for commerce and scientific applications. Covering the RFID technologies, EAS technologies and magnetic coupled techniques.

Recycling for Active Tags and batteries

Article written by Toxco,Inc for Transponder News

Batteries in transponders

Transponders are being used in very diverse large volume applications more and more each day. They are used in traffic management, remote water and gas meters, smart tags, animal tracking, iceberg tracking, anti-theft tracking, and many other industries. Over the past 10 years the earlier devices are becoming obsolete, requiring repairs, or at a minimum needing new batteries. In traffic management and automatic toll tag applications across the nation companies are estimating the generation of many millions of transponders that no longer function or are obsolete.

Due to the electronics and battery, these transponders are hazardous and harmful if not managed properly. It is not prudent to even consider disposal for such large volumes at a hazardous waste landfill or incinerator for many environmental, safety, and liability reasons. Now there is help.

Toxco Inc is the largest recycler of all types of batteries and over the past several years has adapted their processes to perform efficient and effective transponder recycling.

Benefits of Recycling:

Eliminate Liability:

Lithium batteries can be very dangerous in certain circumstances. They can cause, have caused, and will in the future, cause fires, personal injury, and equipment damage. The type lithium battery used in transponders is usually lithium thionyl chloride (LiSOCl2). This is one of the longest lasting highest energy lithium batteries but it is also one of the more hazardous types if handled improperly, abused, or subjected to the wrong environment. Toxco destroys the battery and device neutralizing lithium and other dangerous chemicals contained in the transponder.
Eliminate Hazardous Waste:
As long as the batteries are recycled the agencies using the transponders are not considered a generator of hazardous waste by the EPA. Toxco will issue a certificate of recycling that references the number of pounds recycled. When attached to your EPA annual reports it directly subtracts from the volume generated.
Green Image:
By recycling, the transponder users are seen as a “Green Company” to customers and the EPA.
Natural Resource and Materials Conservation:
You will be conserving materials from your transponders as well as conserving natural resources and reducing air pollution by not landfilling or incinerating. Toxco Inc. will recycle your devices by recovering lithium carbonate, metals, and some plastics (depending on the grade and type). Toxco processes generate no air emissions and waste from our processes is analyzed for RCRA wastes prior to disposal. .
Eliminate the possibility that these transponders will be pilfered and reused or sold to unethical overseas markets. Toxco guarantees that the units will be destroyed.
ISO Recycling:
ISO 14000 gives credit to companies that find ways to recycle waste generated from their processes or facilities. Recycling batteries and transponders is a great way to help achieve corporate recycling goals.

Toxco’s Recycling Process for Transponders
Upon receipt, the transponders are weighed, inventoried, and placed in fire resistant storage bunkers until they are processed. They are removed from the storage facility immediately prior to processing when shipping containers are emptied into processing containers. The processing containers are fed into the recycling line where the transponders are pulverized and immersed in a large volume of caustic solution. We separate and recover materials by conventional metal separation methods, float sink operations, and via filtering and chemically precipitating products. Lithium is fully neutralized in reactions with water. Acidic electrolyte is completely neutralized by a caustic solution. For added safety our process is completely remotely operated and process equipment is fully enclosed and ducted to both a traveling bed air filter as well as a large air scrubbing system. We monitor and control processing speed, temperatures, and hydrogen levels. The latter is monitored due to hydrogen generation when lithium reacts with water.

Toxco Inc History:
Toxco Inc began as the world’s first (and still the only) primary lithium battery recycler in 1991. At this time our primary customer was the US Department of Defense. Since that time we have grown and increased our recycling capabilities to encompass all types of batteries including alkaline, lithium, mercury, nickel, lead, silver, and many others. We have facilities in Ohio, Tennessee, Philadelphia, Ohio, Oklahoma, California, and British Columbia Canada. Each of our facilities is fully authorized and permitted by the appropriate environmental protection agency. In addition to the battery recycling we also recycle large volumes of metals, precious metals, plastic, electronics, and lithium chemicals. The parent companies of Toxco are Adams Steel Inc. and Kinsbursky Brothers Inc. both are very old family businesses headquartered in Anaheim, California. Adams Steel is one of the largest metals recyclers on the west coast while KBI is one of the largest battery and precious metals recycling companies on the west coast. See: and for additional information.

Options to Aid a Recycling Program:
In addition to recycling the transponders, Toxco can provide the following optional services to assist you with recycling:

  1. We can provide transportation. The cost of this option will depend on the number of pickup points, the volumes shipped, and the locations of the pickup points.
  2. We can supply packaging material that can be filled at your locations. This option can be implemented to supply packages as small as 45 lbs and can be as large as 1 cubic yard tri-wall containers. Costs will depend on the size of the containers and the number of locations the containers are to be shipped.
  3. We can offer a turnkey package with prepaid transportation back to us. This type system can be for packages up to 70 lbs in weight and would utilize our existing contracts with UPS. The costs will depend on the number of packages desired and the number of locations the packages will be shipped.
  4. We can inventory your devices based on a bar code system. We will monitor and track the destruction of each item. Reports will be provided on a periodic basis.
  5. We can develop a program to receive transponders directly from individual customers in prepaid envelopes and provide a reports of items received.

This list of options can be modified based on how you would like to operate your collection, inventory, shipping, etc.

Information supplied by
Dave Miller
VP Toxco Inc.

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