Lithium-polymer replacement-battery manufacturer Impact Power Technologies (IPT) recently announced a battery-buyback program to recycle old batteries from customers, as well as two strategic partnerships.

“Impact Power Technologies is a certified battery recycler,” IPT Chief Operating Officer Ken Murphy said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “Now, what we’re offering is to take the batteries back—we’ll pay the shipping—when they purchase one of our batteries and send us back one of their old ones. We’ll give them a dollar back and pay the shipping.

Murphy said IPT hopes the program helps customer realize the need to recycle batteries. In addition, the use of longer-lasting IPT batteries should result in fewer batteries being put into landfills, he said.

“What we’re trying to do is just get awareness of it,” Murphy said. “They can just ship the batteries back, and we’ll take care of the responsible disposal of them. Plus, they get a little bit of money, because it’s not costing them to ship them back to us.”

Meanwhile, not properly disposing LMR batteries can create problems for users, according to IPT president Curtis Quinter.

“With the new federal regulations, if they get caught dumping it into a landfill, they will be prosecuted—it’s illegal to dump the lithium and the NiCd (nickel-cadmium) batteries into landfills, because of the severe pollutants in the batteries,” Quinter said. “If you get cadmium in your ground water, you’re poisoning people.”

In addition, IPT announced two strategic partnerships, one with Las Vegas-based McIntosh Communications and another with Prime Media Group in New York.

McIntosh provides two-way-radio services to many casino chains with locations inside and outside of Las Vegas, Murphy said.

“You can understand the level of security associated with the devices at the casinos,” Murphy said. “For the people that visit [casinos], that’s basically their product—just protecting them and giving them an environment that makes them feel safe. The ramifications of just communications at some of these properties are huge.”

But those communications can be compromised if personnel have to leave their posts to change batteries, Murphy said.

“They’re excited,” he said. “They have a product now where they don’t have to have the guys coming back in … to switch out batteries all of the time, and it just makes the security at these casinos much safer.”

Murphy expressed optimism about the partnership with McIntosh Communications.

“You need feet on the ground out there to service the cops and things like that, and we checked the reputations of other distributors in that area, and McIntosh—by far—was the most qualified and most able to handle our business out there,” Murphy said.

IPT’s partnership with Prime Media Group is expected to help IPT penetrate the retail and logistics markets along the East Coast, as the company’s batteries are used to power a variety of communications devices, including two-way radios and bar-code scanners, Murphy said. Such strategic partnerships are important to IPT, he said.

“We have a very compelling story to tell,” Murphy said. “Now that we have the case studies and the road record, when we bring people on like this, they’re able to go out and grab pretty significant business for us. They’re dealing with these customers all of the time, because they have different products that they sell, so the relationship was a perfect fit for both of us.”