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Battery regulations made into law


Source: Materials Recycling Week

New regulations on recycling waste batteries and accumulators were laid in the UK Parliament on Wednesday (14 March). The Government has produced regulations that establish the legislative framework for the collection, treatment and recycling of waste batteries and accumulators in the UK. The Regulations implement the waste provisions of the Batteries and Accumulators and Waste Batteries and Accumulators Directive. They establish the scope of producer responsibility in the UK. Key elements for portables include: * Producers will meet their responsibilities for collection and recycling by joining a Battery Compliance Scheme. BCSs will be approved by the relevant environment agencies of the UK. BCSs will also carry out publicity aimed at consumers informing them how they can return their waste household batteries for recycling;
* Producers who put less than one tonne of portable batteries on the market will register with the environment agencies but will not have to fund collection, treatment and recycling;
* From February 2010, shops that sell more than 32 kilogrammes of portable batteries will have to collect in-store these batteries when they become waste.

Battery recycling firm G&P Batteries managing director Michael Green said: “My initial thought is that this is what we were expecting and this is what the Government set out in its consultation at the beginning of the year (see MRW story).

“We are pleased that they published the regulations and we are set on track to meeting our targets. But it is a shame that it is a few months late.”
Green is concerned that the regulations still do not set how many BCSs there will be and is worried about how they will carry out a publicity campaign (see MRW story).

The Regulations will come into force on 5 May and the first compliance period will begin on 1 January 2010.  During the rest of 2009, potential BCSs will apply to the environment agencies, recruit battery producers and set up collection and recycling arrangements.

There will also be a ban on the disposal of waste industrial and automotive batteries by landfill or by incineration from 1 January 2010.

Economic and Business Minister Ian Pearson said: “These regulations will help reduce the environmental impact of batteries and accumulators, which contain potentially harmful material. We are committed to helping minimise the impact on the environment of this kind of waste and this is the latest measure to help us achieve a cleaner environment.”

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