Howard Meyers and David Weinberg receive BCI Distinguished Service Awards

by John Shepherd
BCI executive VP Roger Miksad (centre) with 2021 Distinguished Service Award recipient Howard Meyers (left) and 2020 Distinguished Service Award recipient David Weinberg (right). Photos: BCI
Battery Council International (BCI) has presented its Distinguished Service Awards for 2021 and 2020 to the chairman and CEO of lead battery recycler Quexco, Howard Meyers, and to leading industry advocate David Weinberg of the law firm Wiley, respectively.

The awards, presented during BCI’s annual Convention and Power Mart Expo in San Diego, recognise individuals who have made "a sustained, long-term, and meaningful contribution to the advancement of the association and the industry”.
Meyers, who started building his lead recycling business in the 1970s, has since "remained a mainstay in the industry, building what eventually became the largest battery recycling business in the world”, BCI said.

EnerSys president and CEO Dave Shaffer said: "Howard is an amazing businessman. He has shown dogged determination his entire career back to a very young age to succeed in the difficult recycling business.”

'Commitment and engagement'

"He is always thinking about the complexities of the business on multiple levels. Howard’s contributions to the industry and the world go well beyond the businesses he created. His service to the industry has been demonstrated by his commitment and engagement with BCI and other trade associations throughout his tenure.”

BCI also acknowledged Meyers’s philanthropic activities, including, with his late wife Rory, making "significant donations to the Dallas Arboretum to create the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden – a seven-acre outdoor laboratory that opened in late 2013 – and to NYU Paths to Peace programme, which brings together students of different faiths and backgrounds from Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza to study and live together at NYU.

David Weinberg first joined the BCI team in 1989 when the BCI board brought his law firm in to help the association engage in the US legislative challenges of that time.
BCI said: "David and BCI’s first big effort was the roll out of the ‘BCI Model’ law for lead battery collection. Launching BCI’s first Recycling Rate Report in 1990 and lobbying across the nation to get the BCI model adopted, today it is in place in more than 40 states and viewed as a model for closed-loop manufacturing.”

'Tireless advocacy'

Through the 1990s, Weinberg led BCI’s efforts to work with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during the first major Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) review of lead, convincing the EPA that no new regulations were needed in light of the industry’s significant commitments to safety and lead control.
That also directly set the groundwork for the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and HazMat transportation exemptions lead batteries are able to use to this day.
Weinberg also spearheaded the successful effort to obtain revisions on behalf of the lead battery industry to the Superfund law, which provides protections to companies that legitimately send materials to recycling sites for processing – a critical component in ensuring the success of the recycling system.

"David and his legal team have represented the industry in responding to efforts from state and federal regulators and legislators to impose additional unnecessary restrictions on workplaces,” BCI said.
"David’s tireless and effective advocacy has ensured that regulations and government action have been based on sound science and best practices. His work has been critical to preserving the US battery manufacturing industry’s ability to remain competitive in a global market while complying with government regulations and keeping workers safe.”