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The Green Zone

BatteryBack


The BatteryBack scheme offers a national collection and treatment service for all types of batteries. In 2010 it became a legal requirement for producers and retailers selling over 32kg of batteries per year to take back batteries from their customers.


Rapid Electronics is working with BatteryBack to help dispose of used batteries. We now have the facility on site to dispose of batteries in a safe and environmentally friendly way. Simply visit the Rapid Trade Counter with your old batteries and we will dispose of them free of charge. Customers who do not live locally can also take advantage of the BatteryBack scheme. The following information will help you find your local Company that will dispose of your batteries free of charge.

Contact BatteryBack


Helpline: 0844 800 5671
Email: regulations@batteryback.org
Website: www.batteryback.org
Address: BatteryBack Plc, Richmond House, Garforth, Leeds, LS25 1NB

BatteryBack FAQs


What happens to the batteries once they have been collected?
The batteries are sorted into chemical type, bulked up and then sent on to central treatment facilities for recycling. Base metals are recovered for re-use in industry. For further information please visit www.batteryback.org/battery-recycling.html

What are the environmental benefits of battery recycling?
Before these regulations came into force most batteries were discarded into landfill. Batteries contain various hazardous metals such as Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, Zinc, Manganese and Lithium. It can be damaging to the environment to dispose of them through landfill and burning batteries also causes atmospheric pollution. In addition, the resources that can be gained from the batteries are the very same materials being mined (at great cost) in other parts of the world. By helping to recycle batteries you are not only helping the environment but also helping to keep down the cost of new batteries.

How does Britain compare with the rest of Europe?
We currently recycle less than 3% of portable batteries, whereas Belgium recovers over 50%. We do not compare very well; in fact we have one of the worst records in Europe. Recycling batteries is 10 times more expensive than sending them to landfill and up until now the Government has done little to encourage better recycling rates. In Belgium there is a small levy on every battery to cover the cost of their recycling! In Britain, producers are expected to pick up the cost of collection and recycling.

Each of us can help keep down the cost of batteries by putting our used batteries in a BatteryCan nearby. There are over 30,000 collection points in the UK. This includes all major retailers, all businesses selling over 32kg of batteries per annum, all civic amenity sites, council and government buildings. To find out the location of your nearest BatteryCan collection point please visit www.batteryback.org/battery-collection.html.

Do I need a waste management license to store waste batteries?
You need to apply to the Environment Agency (SEPA in Scotland, NIEA in Northern Ireland) for an Exemption to the Waste Management Regulations. BatteryBack will do this on your behalf when you register as an Approved Battery Collection Point. There is no cost to you.

What collection infrastructure does BatteryBack have in place?
In terms of dealing with waste batteries, the combined collection, infrastructure and treatment network from both Veolia and WasteCare gives BatteryBack a huge head start. In essence BatteryBack control all aspects of the disposal journey, from collections, to sorting, treatment and eventual 98% recovery. This gives BatteryBack greater control over potential treatment costs. BatteryBack is continually seeking to complement the existing arrangements with other waste collection providers to help keep down the costs to the producer members.

Safety Information


Some batteries contain hazardous materials such as Cadmium (Cd), Lead (Pb), Lithium (Li) and Mercury (Hg). Although these are hazardous to the environment and can be dangerous to health, batteries are safe if handled correctly. Please follow these simple instructions:
  • Do not break open batteries. Dust particles released are hazardous
  • Do not allow batteries to get wet. For instance, Lithium can spontaneously combust if in contact with water
  • Do not expose batteries to excessive heat or fire. Batteries may explode in fire releasing toxic fumes
  • Do not short out batteries (i.e. allow the positive and negative terminals of the batteries to touch). Sudden discharges may cause heat or fire
  • Do not mix dry batteries (sealed) with wet batteries (unsealed, such as lead acid). Leaking acid can cause damage and is a risk to human health
  • Never use steel containers for storage. These can cause batteries to short out suddenly causing a fire or react with acids to create hazardous fumes
  • Always use properly labelled plastic containers
  • Simply, be sensible and portable batteries are safe to handle. Always follow the instructions provided. If in doubt, contact our helpline on 0844 800 5671
Never put batteries in the waste bin!


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