Only one in ten construction businesses know about new laws that restrict how they dispose of batteries from items such as power tools, laptops and torches.
That figure has been estimated by environmental consultant Simon de Grey, of leading environmental and health & safety training company Pivotal Performance.
He believes 90 per cent of businesses are breaking the law by chucking batteries in the bin when they should be recycled.
New regulations came into force four months ago which require batteries to be segregated from general waste and recycled.
And they apply to every single business in the UK.
"The problem is barely anyone knows these laws exist," said Simon.
"The law even provides a solution to the problem of recycling, as by 2012 it will force battery manufacturers to collect 25 per cent of the batteries they put on the market.
"There will come a point in the next few years where they are desperate to get them back from businesses! But that’s not happening."
Simon has an easy way for businesses to instantly comply with the new laws.
From February next year waste batteries should be returned to the producer or seller (so long as they sell or produce more than 32kg of batteries a year).
Simon added: "Waste can be stored for up to 12 months at your business premises without the need for an environmental permit.
"So I recommend holding on to any waste batteries until you can return them to the seller in February."
Simon de Grey is a highly qualified environmental consultant, and a professional member of the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment.
Pivotal Performance is one of the UK’s leading environmental and health & safety training companies.
It has a unique way of training people called PPTplus, which teaches delegates how to win commitment from others, not just compliance.