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13th July 2007

Using a bogus waste battery collector could land you in court, warns G & P


Unregistered battery collectors are putting reputable automotive businesses at risk of prosecution, warns leading battery collection company, G & P Batteries.

G & P believes that, in spite of the introduction of stringent legislation and widespread publicity concerning the need for compliant disposal of hazardous waste, outlets may be putting their trust in casual waste collectors without checking their credentials.

“Of all the automotive wastes, batteries are probably governed by the most stringent and complicated legislation due to their hazardous nature,” said Michael Green, Managing Director of G & P Batteries. “Sadly, though, many industry outlets risk prosecution by allowing their waste to be removed by unregistered collectors and seem unaware of the fact that the waste producer has a responsibility for what happens to that waste even after it has been collected.

“In today’s greener environment, responsible disposal of industry waste is a serious issue and those caught flouting the law can be penalised,” he continued.  “It is vital that every site handling waste batteries has a thorough understanding of the actions necessary to ensure compliant removal and disposal and that the correct procedures are in place to ensure these are carried out.”

The majority of lead acid batteries collected in the UK come from the automotive industry and more than 90% of them are recycled, making them one of the most recycled waste products in this country. However, G & P believes that, whilst the industry can be proud of this good track record, there is also evidence of an insufficient understanding of the complex legislation concerning waste batteries.

“Many reputable businesses are risking their good names and exposing themselves to prosecution when they hand their waste batteries to bogus operators or through poor site security. They may offer an attractive price for waste batteries but it is important to check that they are fully compliant,” Michael Green advised.

In England and Wales companies that produce waste batteries must be registered with the Environment Agency and pay an annual registration fee as a producer of Hazardous Waste.   Each movement of waste batteries must be accompanied by a Consignment Note signed by the waste battery producer and a fee must be paid to the Environment Agency.  Failure to do so can attract an on the spot  £300 fine per offence.  The operator who removes the waste batteries must be a registered Waste Carrier.  Waste producers also have a Duty of Care to ensure that their batteries are destined to be recovered or disposed of safely and in accordance with legislation.

The waste producer remains responsible for the description of the waste and its disposal.  It is therefore extremely important that the type of batteries being sent for collection are adequately and accurately described and that all responsibilities towards battery waste are met.