Every person in the UK uses an average of 10 batteries per year. Together we create more than 600 million waste batteries in just one year. (recycle-more.co.uk) As something we have grown up with, using in our toys when we were children, our mobiles phones as teens and in our cars as adults, you wouldn’t think as a nation we still stand in front of our general waste bins pondering whether batteries can go in there? The answer is a definite no and an even bigger NO for businesses; Whist the obligations placed on companies that produce hazardous waste are more stringent than for those that merely dispose of batteries that are used generally, it is illegal for both to include such hazardous waste in the general waste collection. (Source)
Why should I recycle?
- Batteries sent to landfill decay and release hazardous chemicals such as lead, zinc, lithium and mercury into the earth. This causes soil contamination and water pollution, which is harmful to animals as well as humans. If incinerated with general waste, harmful gases can be released in to the atmosphere adding to air pollution.
- Recycling batteries is not only better for the environment, it puts good use to the valuable metals found in batteries such as nickel, silver and cadmium.
- According to Directgov, over 12,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions could be avoided if the country meets its targets for battery recycling!
In 2009, the UK adopted the EU’s Batteries Directive which sets a recycling target of 45% of all batteries sold by 2016.
The UK has rapidly improved our battery recycling rate from 2008 (a shocking 3-4%!) and met our last target of 30% in 2013. Our target for 2016 has risen to 45% so the government is introducing new schemes to enable us to reach it; Any premises that supplies batteries, must also collect them for recycling and advertise this clearly to customers.
Oh ok, how do I recycle?
Batteryback.org allows you to search for one of over 30,000 battery collection facilities in the UK and provides a list of the nearest battery recycling providers to you. MAR Bracknell HQ is one of the listed recycling providers and we also offer this service free of charge to our clients.
The batteries are sent to one of two sites in Belgium where the company Revatech S.A. recycles them. Read more about the recycling process here.
Batteryback.org are working towards helping the UK achieve its battery recycling targets and preventing more harm to our environment and we are proud to be working with them.
See Marrecycling.co.uk for more information on our recycling services.
0800 975 7217