By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
New Covington company to recycle scrap from auto battery maker
Battery Resourcers
Battery Resources, now Ascend Elements, announced in 2021 it would invest $43 million to open its first commercial-scale battery recycling plant in Newton County. The facility will be located in an existing building off Industrial Drive in Covington (pictured), creating 150 jobs. (Special Photo)

COVINGTON, Ga. — SK Battery America (SKBA) has selected Ascend Elements to recycle the scrap from used batteries at Ascend’s new 154,000-square-foot battery recycling facility in Covington.

Ascend, formerly known as Battery Resourcers, will recycle both cell and module lithium-ion battery manufacturing scrap from SKBA’s manufacturing facility in Commerce, Georgia, a news release stated. 

The scrap material will be recycled in Covington to recover 98% of battery materials and return critical battery elements to the battery supply chain, the release stated.

“People often think lithium-ion battery recycling is just for end-of-life batteries, but waste from the battery cell manufacturing process is the biggest segment of the battery recycling market right now,” said Michael O’Kronley, CEO of Ascend Elements. 

“SKBA is embracing sustainability and reducing its impact on the environment by recycling every bit of scrap battery material it produces. We are incredibly proud to have our new recycling base in Covington ... and we look forward to helping SKBA conserve valuable material and keep battery production costs down. 

“We are committed to continuing our work with SKBA and eventually returning the battery materials we recover to their supply chain. Lithium-ion battery recycling and materials recovery needs to become standard operating practice across the industry to minimize our dependence on mining, protect the environment and conserve valuable battery metals.”

Alex Yarbrough, environmental engineer at SK Battery America, said, “Our vision is to create a circular supply chain for electric vehicle batteries from raw materials to recycling in the United States. 

“We will move forward with Ascend Elements to improve the overall carbon-reduction value of EVs.”

Ascend is a vertically-integrated, lithium-ion battery recycling and engineered-materials company based in Westborough, Massachusetts. 

It raised $90 million in 2021 to expand its battery recycling and cathode manufacturing operations, and recently shared plans to open the Covington recycling base facility, which will be North America’s largest battery recycling facility with 30,000 metric tons per year capacity when fully operational later this year. 

The company will continue expanding its commercial recycling and battery materials manufacturing operations in 2022 and 2023.