Cadmium Recycling in the United States in 2000

Open-File Report 2003-49
Superseded by CIR 1196-O



Recycling of cadmium is a young and growing industry that has been influenced by environmental concerns and regulatory constraints. Domestic recycling of cadmium began in 1989 as a byproduct of processing of spent nickel-cadmium batteries. In 1995, International Metals Reclamation Co. Inc. expanded its operations by building a dedicated cadmium recycling plant. In 2000, an estimated 13 percent of cadmium consumption in the United States was sourced from recycled cadmium, which is derived mainly from old scrap or, to lesser degree, new scrap. The easiest forms of old scrap to recycle are small spent nickel-cadmium batteries followed by flue dust generated during recycling of galvanized steel and small amounts of alloys that contain cadmium. Most of new scrap is generated during manufacturing processes, such as nickel-cadmium battery production. All other uses of cadmium are in low concentrations and, therefore, difficult to recycle. Consequently, much of this cadmium is dissipated and lost. The amount of cadmium in scrap that was unrecovered in 2000 was estimated to be 2,030 t, and an estimated 285 t was recovered. Recycling efficiency was estimated to be about 15 percent.

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Cadmium Recycling in the United States in 2000
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2003-49
DOI 10.3133/ofr200349
Edition Version 1.0
Year Published 2003
Language ENGLISH
Publisher Geological Survey (U.S.)
Contributing office(s) U.S. Geological Survey
Description 9 p.
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