In the UK we are set to have two new battery recycling plants in operation later this year with the announcement that compliance scheme Ecosurety and recycling firm Belmont Trading are partnering on a plant in Scotland.
Belmont Tradings new plant in Byre Hill industrial estate, Kilwinning, North Ayrshire, Scotland will be recycling up to 20,000 tonnes of batteries per year which would account for all of the UK’s battery waste. Additionally, this means the UK can become self-sufficient in battery recycling as the country prepares to leave the EU!
WasteCare and the BatteryBack compliance scheme is due to start processing alkaline batteries in Halifax, Yorkshire is said to be the UK’s first battery recovery plant capable of processing the country’s entire alkaline and lithium battery output.
BatteryBack was established as the first producer compliance scheme in 2009 as the battery recycling regulations were being developed.
Used batteries are understood to have insufficient metallic value to cover the cost of collection and reprocessing with about a fifth of the battery made up of paper, plastic and organics materials.
Zinc is an important component for recycling as well as small amounts of other metals including manganese, aluminium and copper.
The costs of processing are met by a gate-fee charged by the recycling plants and this, in turn, is covered by the compliance obligations under the Accumulators and Waste Batteries Directive.
WHAT TYPES OF BATTERIES CAN I RECYCLE?
- All household batteries including ‘button’ batteries from watches
- Battery packs from laptops, mobile phones, power tools and remote control units (put electrical tape over the terminals)
- Although car batteries can be recycled, they should be taken to a designated collection point and not recycled with household batteries in shops
For more info see BatteryBack Health and Safty