New rules and regulations for battery recycling

May 22, 2009 at 4:10 pm

What happens to all those thousands of batteries when they have used up every last dribble of power? When you’ve twisted them around in the remote control more times than you can remember where do they finally go to die? At the moment the news isn’t good for the environment, as it’s the poor old landfills that get nearly all household batteries in the UK – which are the AAs and the mobile phone batteries. Very few are recycled at present. Thankfully that isn’t the same for the huge car batteries that are nearly all recycled.

As of this month though a brand new set of regulations has been outlined by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) called the Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations 2009. It might not sound like the most interesting of reports to look through but it’s going to shake up the world of batteries and their unnecessary and toxic disposal.

All companies producing batteries of any kind must now sign up and declare themselves an official manufacturer. They must give an accurate account of their plans for recycling and report back to DEFRA on their measures to maintain the standards expected of them.

A Battery Compliance Scheme has also been set up, which will make the manufacturers inform their customers how and where to recycle their products appropriately. The goal is to get the rate of portable batteries recycled up to around 45% before 2016. This is a huge jump from what it is now though and it’s not too clear when any of us will start to notice the difference or be told of how to change our ways. As early as 2010 many retailers will have to accept responsibility for used batteries and will be taking back the empties, as it were. It might be worth starting to think before you throw the old batteries away from now on.

BatteryBack is the official recycling scheme for the new battery regulations. From the 1st January 2010 BatteryBack will provide FREE nationwide battery collection and recycling.

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