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19th October 2012

G & P installs Europe’s first automated waste battery sorting system


G & P Batteries, the UK’s leading waste battery collection and recycling company, has installed Europe’s first automated optical waste battery sorting system.

The new equipment is capable of sorting at a rate of more than five batteries a second and has more than doubled G & P’s capacity to sort portable waste batteries at its site in Darlaston, West Midlands.

Developed by Swedish company, Optisort, the system is designed to recognise and separate the most common battery brands and chemistries and so speed up the sorting process.  This will enable G & P to handle with ease the uplift in volumes necessary for the UK to meet its battery recycling obligations under the UK and EU targets.

 “The vast majority of the volumes handled come from the most common brands and we’ve been searching for some time for the technology that can streamline the waste battery sorting process,” explained G & P’s Managing Director, Michael Green.  “We were impressed by the speed and accuracy of the Optisort battery sorter, which enables us to maximise our sorting efficiencies whilst maintaining current staffing levels. We will always require the expertise of manual sorters, for larger batteries and packs, and for their experience in accurately identifying the lesser known battery brands and chemistries”

“This installation is as significant for Optisort as it is for G & P,” said Hans Eric Melin, Chief Executive Officer at Optisort. “The system we are commissioning in Darlaston is the first, in the world using this kind of technology. The access to G & Ps deep knowledge in waste battery sorting and collection, as well as their high requirements, has been instrumental in transposing our prototype machine into a full scale commercial system.”                                                                                                                                                                                   

2012 is a crucial year for the UK, which is tasked with meeting its first significant battery recycling target under the European Directive.  By the end of the year, the country will need to have collected 25% of the volume of batteries placed on the market. Results issued by the Environment Agency so far show that it is likely this will be achieved.