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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. 

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6th March 2017

G & P Batteries condemns portable battery recycling shambles

Waste batteries collection company G & P Batteries has called for an investigation into what it calls ‘a portable battery recycling shambles’ after 2016 final quarter figures have yet again confirmed a disproportionate over-reliance on portable lead acid batteries to meet the UK’s mandatory collection targets. 

Despite changes in guidance, which reduces the weight threshold of portable lead acid batteries from a maximum of 10kgs to 4kgs, the figures which suggest that the UK has hit its 45% target at the end of 2016 are heavily over-reliant on portable lead acid battery collections.

Latest figures issued by the Environment Agency on NPWD (National Packaging Waste Database) show that 38,725 tonnes of portable batteries were placed on the market during 2016, of which 1936 tonnes were portable lead acid batteries. Of the 17,232 tonnes of portable batteries received by ABTOs (Approved Battery Treatment Operators) and ABEs (Approved Battery Exporters) from the Battery Compliance Schemes, 8,745 (more than 50%) of these were lead acid batteries. This equates to a collection rate of 451% for the year, demonstrating a continued and disproportionate over-reliance on lead acid batteries for providing ‘evidence’ of the collection of portable batteries for recycling. A total of 36,788 of other battery chemistries were placed on the market during 2016, with 8486 (23%) collected.

“Despite the change in guidance there has been no reduction in the proportion of portable lead acid battery evidence, and I can see no rational explanation as to why this situation perpetuates, unless there is a massive under-reporting of material going on to the market or a similar over-reporting of material coming off the market, which implies that either battery manufacturers or the ABTOs and the waste industry misunderstands this legislation,” said G & P’s Managing Director Greg Clementson.

The high number of lead acid batteries being collected creates a false impression of the UK’s portable battery recycling track record. 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 a continued over-reliance in the UK on lead acid portable battery evidence for meeting the mandatory 45% target, something not seen in other European countries where the regulations apply. That suggests that the UK is actually underperforming when it comes to the other battery chemistries.

“This situation is contrary to the aim and spirit of the legislation and cannot be sustainable in the long term. We really need an investigation into why lead acid batteries are dominating these collection rates and to look more closely into exactly how many batteries of other chemistries from the UK are being recycled.” he added.