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Battery recyclers face efficiency deadline

Battery recyclers may have to report on battery recycling efficiencies next week, despite the absence of an agreed methodology among EU member states.

The news has come as a surprise because it was originally believed the European Commission would not expect them to meet or report on recycling efficiencies by the 26 September deadline without a means of calculating the efficiency.

Efficiencies are the targets that battery recyclers must meet in order to define the process as ‘recycling’. The efficiencies are a 75% recycling target for nickel-cadmium batteries, 65% for lead acid batteries and 50% for other batteries.

Defra notified stakeholders of the change in the Commission’s stance, following a meeting earlier this month. The note, seen by MRW, said the Commission is leaving it up to member states to manage the process and determine what information they request from recycling facilities to meet the recycling efficiencies.

To tackle the sudden decision, Defra has proposed that member states agree a general approach to avoid recycling facilities being overloaded with differing requests for information, and that each member state only reports on the recycling efficiency achieved by facilities located within their territory. Battery recyclers are being asked for their views on this.

The note said: “Clearly, this approach would need to be agreed between member states. Ideally the [Commission] would provide this direction in recognition of the difficulty member states are likely to face in the absence of an agreed EU-wide methodology. The other obvious drawback is that it does not cover those facilities located outside the EU.”

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