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Battery sector marches towards 2013 target

Portable battery collection in the first half of 2013 has positioned the sector on track to meet the annual target, figures from the Environment Agency indicate.

Slightly less than 3,200 tonnes of waste portable batteries were collected for recycling by compliance schemes in the second quarter, bringing the total for the first half of the year to 6,686 tonnes.

Defra set a collection target of 30% for 2013, up from 25% in 2012. The target is set against the amount of batteries placed on to the market by obligated producers each year, with this amount currently estimated at 33,981 tonnes.

Taking into account these figures, the collection rate in the first half of the year stood at 38.6%, indicating that the sector is well positioned to reach the 30% target.

Last year, the UK portable battery sector managed to achieve a 28.34% collection rate surpassing the 25% target, according to consolidated figures released by the EA in July.

UK targets are derived from the EU Battery Directive of 2006, which mandated that member states needed to collect at least 25% of used batteries by 2012, with the target rising to 45% by 2016.

In August MRW reported that the Environment Agency was proposing to change the definition of ‘portable’ batteries. This was due to a loophole in the current guidance, which means that a large proportion of collection targets are met with hazardous lead/acid batteries.

Readers' comments (3)

  • not so many portable lead acid batteries in that picture!

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  • The Q2 data shows that out of the 6,686 tonnes of portable waste batteries collected during the first six months of 2013, a total of 5,854 tonnes – equivalent to 87% – were lead acid batteries, despite this category making up only around 7% of the portable batteries placed onto the market during that time.

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  • Lead acid batteries are purchased by the scrap metal industry and sent to lead acid battery processors. These batteries in the article are the dry cell and nickel cadmium batteries found in laptops, cordless powertools etc that have been diverted from land fill by compliance schemes

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