20th July 2010
Local Authority input needed to achieve battery recycling targets
Local authorities still have an important role to play in helping the Battery Compliance Schemes (BCSs) achieve their collection targets, predicts a waste battery specialist.
Michael Green, Managing Director of nationwide waste battery collector G & P Batteries, says that waste battery kerbside collection facilities and collection points at CA sites will provide the public with additional opportunities to recycle batteries. “This could make all the difference to the targets being met,” he said.
From a historic recycling rate in the UK of just 3% for portable waste batteries, the compliance schemes need to recycle 10% in 2010, rising to 25% by 2012 to meet targets set by the European Batteries Directive, which in the UK are being administered via the UK Waste Battery Regulations.
BCSs are responsible for collecting sufficient batteries to meet the targets laid down in the legislation and also for any necessary marketing to raise public awareness. Supermarkets and other retailers have an obligation to take batteries back from consumers but there is no obligation for local authorities to take any action. “It will be up to the BCSs to talk to the local authorities to determine how best they can help achieve these very challenging targets,” said Michael Green.
“Many consumers use their local authority facilities as a first port of call when it comes to recycling and our past experience has shown that households embrace kerbside recycling for waste batteries and will also make use of waste battery recycling facilities at CA sites,” said Michael Green. His company is an Authorised Battery Treatment Operator (ABTO) and Authorised Battery Exporter (ABE) and it sorts the majority of portable, industrial and automotive batteries in the UK, identifying the most appropriate route for recycling. To meet the predicted upsurge in waste portable batteries collected, G & P recently upgraded its fleet with five new drop-side vans which they will use as the workhorses for such collections.
“The compliance schemes are going to have a tough job in meeting these targets and need all the help they can get,” he warned. “Whilst local authorities have no legal obligation to get involved, their direct interface with the public through the provision of waste collection facilities allows a straightforward recycling route for householders and I believe it would be beneficial for everyone if they formed a close allegiance with the compliance schemes.”