New regulations for battery recycling mean that any retailer selling over 32kg of batteries per year must by law provide free battery collection and recycling facilities by February 2010.
Amongst the major retailers, Morrisons have got ahead of the game and started trialling battery recycling facilities at a number of their stores, with plans to roll out nationally well before the February deadline? A number of smaller retailers also intend getting a head start.
BatteryBack Plc., established by Veolia and WasteCare are already operating a national collection and recycling service. Providing a range of BatteryCans to suit all needs, the aim is to collect low cost batteries as part of their existing hazardous waste services.
Peter Hunt, chairman of BatteryBack says:
“Retailers do not want extra trucks visiting stores to collect small quantities of batteries. At the same time they will not want to handle potentially hazardous waste over which they have little control. By combining battery collections with other waste being removed, will not only be safer but reduce cost. A number of retailers, who sell own brand batteries, will also need to be registered producers; combining compliance with collection is a win win for everyone.”
Around 1 billion batteries are discarded in Britain each year. Currently, less than 3% are recycled. This has to increase to 25% by 2012 and then to 45% by 2016. Retailers have an important roll in helping the country achieve its targets. Data shows that stores that offer battery collection sell more batteries, so really, it is a bit of a no brainer. All retailers need to act soon to make sure they are ready before the February 2010 deadline.
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