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Battery recycling facilities 'within weeks'

The first alkaline battery recycling plant in the UK is due to be in operation within weeks, with a second facility opening before the end of the year.

Both developments follow the change in regulations from January 2016 which introduced a 4kg weight limit for portable batteries, cutting the volume of lead acid batteries qualifying as evidence for producer obligations.

First off the blocks will be WasteCare, which is in the final stages of installing plant at a facility in Yorkshire.

Group technical director Dave Reynolds told MRW the Halifax site will process up to three tonnes an hour on a single shift. He said the company was looking to start recycling in the first week of September.

In 2016, WasteCare bought out Veolia’s share in compliance scheme BatteryBack. The company claims to be the UK’s biggest battery collector.

Meanwhile, a second recycling plant is being prepared in a partnership between compliance scheme Ecosurety and recycler Belmont Trading UK.

The pair say that up to 20,000 tonnes of batteries could be processed annually at Belmont’s Kilwinning site, near Glasgow, sufficient to cover the UK’s entire battery waste requirements.

Damian Lambkin, head of innovation at Ecosurety, said: “This partnership means the UK could potentially stop sending batteries abroad for recycling. It is also a big win for producers which will not have to cover the additional cost burdens of sending spent batteries overseas.

“This is proof that UK industry can find its own innovative solutions to our waste resourcing issues through partnership working.”

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