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Some of the lead was cast into cylinders and shipped to Federal Cartridge in Anoka and other ammunition makers. Gopher’s been supplying lead to the military and ammunition makers for 60 years. It’s also supplied the nation’s largest batterymakers for decades.
“We buy millions of pounds from them every year,” said Rick Leiby, metal operations vice president at East Penn Manufacturing, the country’s second largest lead-acid battery maker. “Their operation does some things that not everyone does. They not only recover the lead but they also recover polypropylene plastic from the battery case. We take the plastic and turn it into new battery cases.”
At Johnson Controls Power Solutions, the largest U.S. lead-acid battery maker, recycling general manager Tom Parmenter said he likes that Gopher helps keep car and truck batteries out of the waste stream. “Gopher is an important partner in our effort to bring battery recycling levels in the U.S. to 100 percent,” he said. “At Johnson Controls, we are working actively to ensure that all automotive batteries get recycled safely. Gopher helps us realize that goal.”
Dee DePass • 612-673-7725