Shoot first, ask questions later, goes the adage, but what if one of those questions is, “Can I recycle that shot?” Thanks to Lead Us Reclaim LLC, based in Augusta, Wis., you can. The company has carved out a niche reclaiming and recycling lead shot from trap and skeet shooting ranges and clubs around the country.
Lead Us Reclaim uses a proprietary system of screens and blowers to sift lead BBs from soil. The resulting lead is close to 100 percent pure and very attractive to lead smelters. Workers take precautions to limit their exposure to the heavy metal, which can be toxic in high volumes.
Despite that toxic reputation, lead is still desirable worldwide for use in lead-acid batteries, currently trading at around $2,000 per metric ton on the London Metal Exchange. At that price, the 130,000 pounds of lead shot collected at one of Lead Us Reclaim’s recent jobs would net it $100,000. The company shares 20 percent to 40 percent of the profits with the shooting ranges they mine.
It’s not alchemy, but the company does seem to have figured out, at long last, how to turn lead into gold.