Wallkill Battery Recycling Company Spends $55 Million to Help Environment

By its very nature, RSR is environmentally friendly.

The Wallkill battery recycling company, by design, promotes green industry. But when you recycle 10 million batteries a year into useful metals, plastics and chemicals, well, some contaminants are bound to be emitted.

So even though it was already compliant with environmental regulations, the company spent $55 million on WESP, or Wet Electrostatic Precipitator technology, to capture and clean air emissions.

Plant Manager Eduardo Rabasa led a tour of the new facility to see how WESP works. It starts by capturing the gases of the plant that contain contaminants.

"It's like playing with magnets, where you charge the particle, and you let the particle move to where you want to hold it," he said.

It happens in a charged honeycomb of metal rods.

"Once they're glued, once they're stuck on the wall, then rinse those walls with liquid and they rinse down into a basin," Rabasa said.

That liquid gets pumped to the onsite water treatment plant for processing.

Town Supervisor Dan Depew says this is a great step for the environment, and for the future of the more than 250 jobs at the plant.

"It ensures that this company will be competitive to keep jobs in this region for years to come as other companies face these difficult expenses that Revere has done here today," Depew said.

The project also provided work for many union members with the local International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. County Executive Steve Neuhaus says he likes to see this type of company thriving in Orange County.

"They are voluntarily meeting and exceeding emission standards," Neuhaus said. "They are a good employer, almost 300 people working here, good paying jobs, union jobs. It's a good company."

"It's not just being ahead now. It's being ahead for the future," Rabasa said. "We want to. We care about the environment."

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