A consultation on Government plans to bring in producer responsibility for battery collection and recycling was launched yesterday.
The draft regulations cover the handling of portable, industrial and automotive batteries.
Business and Economics Minister Ian Pearson said: This consultation sets out the proposed systems for introducing producer responsibility for diverting many portable, industrial and automotive batteries from landfill sites, when commercial collection and recycling activity is not doing the job."
The draft regulations will place obligations on producers, battery manufacturers and importers, to collect and recycle waste batteries. It also places obligation on distributors (retailers) to take back waste portable batteries.
Recyclers working with packaging and waste electrical and electronic equipmentwill already be familiar with such schemes.
Portable batteries producers will be required to join battery compliance schemes to meet annual collection targets, which start in 2010. Through these schemes, producers will have to register with the Environment Agency, report sales and fund the collection, treatment and recycling of waste portable batteries as well as contribute to publicity costs. Distributors will have to take back waste portable batteries at no cost to consumers.
But, producers and distributers that place small quantities of batteries on the UK market, or sell them, will be exempt from these costs.
The draft regulations retain much of the established infrastructure, which has brought high collection rates, according to BERR. But the new system will offer a producer safety-net.
Disposal of industrial and automotive batteries in landfill or by incineration will be banned.
Producers of industrial and/or automotive batteries will be required to register and report the tonnages and chemistry of batteries they place on the UK market.
Industrial battery producers will be required to take back waste industrial batteries on an old for new basis, and also be ready to take back any other waste industrial batteries if required.
Automotive battery producers will be required to take back waste automotive batteries on request from final holders such as garages and ELV treatment facilities, and civic amenity sites when commercial collectors are uninterested.
The consultation ends on February 13 2009.