INFORMAL LEAD ACID BATTERY RECYCLING
Developed countries use large centralised smelters,but in emerging economies, Kenya, Mexico, India, communities fiercely reject large destructive smelting in favour of local, informal operations. These are ill equipped but enterprising individuals doing what it takes to survive. Breaking batteries with an axe and melting lead in a kettle, comes at a great cost to them, their families and their community.
A multi-layered and complex ecosystem of collection siphons used lead acid batteries away from the formal channels and into more backstreet, rudimentary informal channels. Lead paste is washed away, contaminating water systems, food sources and the air with airborne particulate. Lead contamination increases lead poisoning and the risk of irreversible mental and psychical health problems. Developing countries face the greatest burden.