News Analysis

Battery Company Builds with Its Own Waste

The 400,000 plus bricks used all contain manganese dioxide, a toxic metal waste from the company’s own battery manufacturing process.

The bricks supplied by Cunningham Brick of Lexington, North Carolina contain about 1.3% waste manganese by weight, for a total of 5,400 pounds (2,450 kg) in the bricks used in the entire building. They are a standard Cunningham product, which, along with several other brick styles, takes advantage of the manganese to achieve a dark color. The heavy metal waste is vitrified by the high-temperature brick firing process and is not thought to pose any health risks in this form. Duracell currently sends about 460,000 pounds (210,000 kg) annually to Cunningham Brick, Cherokee Sanford Brick of Sanford, North Carolina, and to additional brick manufacturers in Belgium.

Published July 1, 1996

(1996, July 1). Battery Company Builds with Its Own Waste. Retrieved from