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20th June 2018
G & P calls for investigation into battery recycling figures as the UK narrowly misses its EU targets
Waste batteries collection company G & P Batteries is calling for an urgent meeting of Stakeholders to discuss the ongoing over-reliance of lead acid batteries to meet its EU obligations for portable waste battery recycling.
Their concern comes as the latest figures issued by the Environment Agency on NPWD (National Packaging Waste Database) show that for the second year running, the UK missed its 45% collection target by just under 1%. In 2017 a total of 39,471 tonnes of portable batteries were placed on the market during the year, with the ABTO’s (Approved Battery Treatment Operators) and ABE’s (Approved Battery Exporters) from the Battery Compliance Schemes reporting the collection of of 17427 tonnes of batteries, a rate of 44.15%.
G & P has been highlighting for some time that there are huge discepancies in the figures, when comparing the number of lead acid batteries being placed onto the market with those being collected for recycling. It believes that this is creating a false impression of the UK’s portable battery recycling track record with the disparity of lead acid batteries placed on, and collected from the market now running at over 560%, with 1701 tonnes placed on the market and 9520 tonnes taken off.
Greg Clementson, Managing Director of G & P Batteries, is calling for all Stakeholders to get together to examine what is going on. “Whilst it appears that the UK has missed its recycling target by less than 1% the reality is that this country is clearly underperforming when it coms to waste battery collection and is side-stepping its obligations by apparently fudging the figures,” he said.
Despite changes in guidance, which reduces the weight threshold of portable lead acid batteries from a maximum of 10kgs to 4kgs, the government’s figures clearly show that lead acid battery collection continues to dominate, whilst the other chemistries, which the Directive was intended to address, have actually dropped by 3% since 2016.
“Anyone looking closely at these figures will realise that something isn’t right and that we have a moral obligation to look into what is happening, as despite the over-reliance on lead acid batteries, we’ve actually missed the mandatory 45% target for the second consecutive year, ” he added.
“Before the legislation was enacted, the UK already recycled 99% of its lead acid batteries and only 3% of other chemistries. The legislation was designed to encourage greater recycling of all battery types and whilst collection rates for other chemistries have improved, the Environment Agency figures clearly demonstrate that we are actually collecting fewer batteries of other chemistries rather than more. This over-realiance on lead acid batteires is not seen in other European countries where the regulations apply, and suggests that the UK is actually underperforming when it comes to the other battery chemistries.”
G & P believes the situation is contrary to the aim and spirit of the legislation and cannot be sustainable in the long term It is calling for an investigation into why lead acid batteries are dominating these collection rates and to look more closely into how the figures are recorded.
29th November 2017
Mayor of Walsall is 10,000th visitor to G & P Batteries
The 10,000th visitor to a Darlaston waste battery recycling plant turned out to be none other than the Mayor of Walsall.
Councillor Marco Longhi had asked to visit G & P Batteries in Willenhall Road site as part of his aim to visit as many local companies as possible during his year of office. He and the Mayoress, Mrs Andrea Longhi, spent several hours at the site, learning about what happens to waste batteries after they are disposed of at the local tip or at local supermarkets.
During their visit they saw the wide range of batteries handled by G & P. These can vary in size from tiny button cell batteries used in watches to large industrial batteries used to power fork lift trucks, and even giant submarine batteries.
The Mayor and Mayoress met some of the 83 staff working on site, many of whom are trained to recognise the various battery chemistries so they can be sorted into appropriate batches for recycling.
G & P’s managing director, Greg Clementson, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome the Mayor and Mayoress and to be able to explain to them what we do. Many waste batteries are harmful to the environment, containing heavy metals which can cause major contamination if not disposed of correctly. We are specialists in handling all kinds of batteries, many of which are harmful and hazardous and we are proud of our knowledgeable team here at Darlaston who do a great job in sorting the battery chemistries accurately ahead of onward shipping for recycling.”
Added Councillor Longhi: “The Mayoress and I were astonished at how large and complex the operation at G & P was. Few of us realise the variation and volume of waste batteries generated on a day to day basis and it was fascinating to see how this local company ensures they are collected, sorted and stored in a safe and responsible manner.”
It was only as the Mayor was signed out of the building that staff realised that he had been issued with the 10,000th visitor badge, which they have kept for posterity.
Photos shows the Mayor and Mayoress of Walsall with G & P site operative Melanie Lloyd and the Mayor’s visitor badge.