Free national battery recycling scheme

Posted on 5th May, 2008

WeeeCare, in conjunction with Remploy, is ready to launch a consortium with battery manufacturers, importers, major retailers and other stakeholders to operate the UK’s first free national battery recovery scheme for all types of batteries.

The scheme will be operated by BatteryBack, a not-for-profit company which has been set up in readiness for the expected introduction of the new Battery Recycling Regulations in the autumn, when the European Battery Directive comes into force.

This Directive states that 25 per cent of all batteries must be recycled by 2012, rising to 45 per cent by 2016. Currently, the UK recycles less than 3 per cent of portable batteries, with more than 30,000 tonnes of batteries being discarded every year. BatteryBack will provide BatteryCans – specially-designed collection canisters of various sizes – at local authority civic amenity sites, schools, supermarkets and other retailers.

Peter Hunt, Chief Executive of WasteCare, WeeeCare’s parent company, said:

“WasteCare has been collecting batteries for many years, so we are now extending our WeeeCollect operation to handle all types of batteries from as many sites as possible throughout the UK. “

Remploy is the largest employer in Britain of disabled personnel and, with the help of Government funding, is gearing up to provide low-cost sorting and pre-treatment of portable batteries.

“By combining battery collections with our existing national service, we believe we have the lowest collection cost structure in Europe, so the cost to retailers will be zero, whilst we expect the cost to producers to be no more than one pence per battery produced, less than a third of the cost being charged in most other EU countries,”

Mr Hunt added. Subject to the final details of the Battery Recycling Regulations, BatteryBack plans to launch a low-cost compliance scheme for all manufacturers and importers of batteries.

For further information on Battery Back, go to www.batteryback.org.