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Open tenders announced to develop battery recycling

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has announced three tenders in order to establish an effective way of collecting and recycling waste portable batteries. These have been defined as all-sealed batteries an average person could carry easily by hand, such as batteries from mobile phones, laptops and household appliances. Vehicle and industrial batteries are excluded.

The aim of the three tenders is to establish a way of collecting and recycling waste portable batteries in the following three areas: developing and operating trial kerbside collections; sorting, reprocessing and recycling; and transporting.

WRAP's batteries programme is designed to prepare the UK for the forthcoming EU Batteries Directive. This is expected to set an annual target of recycling 25% of portable batteries sold by 2012 and 45% by 2016. Targets will be by weight. According to WRAP an estimated 25,000 tonnes of waste portable batteries are sold in the UK each year.

The focus will initially be on kerbside collection of waste portable batteries from domestic sources, moving onto other schemes such as battery drop-off sites later.

A £4 million grant was awarded to WRAP from the Government's new Business Resource Efficiency and Waste programme (BREW), launched earlier in the year to develop new markets for difficult wastes, including batteries.

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