The new law, which comes into force in January 2010, obliges battery manufacturers or a company appointed on their behalf, to collect used batteries from end users such as commercial vehicle garages, car garages, scrap yards and civic amenity tips if requested. The manufacturers are then obliged to take the batteries to an approved battery treatment centre or exporter for treatment and recycling.
Plastic pallet box specialist Dolav is seeing a flurry of enquiries for its products following the launch of new regulations on automotive battery disposal. Automotive battery manufacturers, waste management companies and recyclers have been talking to Dolav as they prepare to comply with the new Waste Batteries and Accumulators Directive.
European Metal Recycling Ltd (EMR) a global leader in metal recycling, handling over 10 million tonnes of scrap metal a year arising from end of life vehicles, consumer products, industry and construction/demolition. Within that are more than 500,000 vehicle batteries handled in Dolav pallet boxes. That includes a recent supply of the unique bi-coloured Dolavs for easy recognition. The main colour in pale-blue and second coloured dark-blue triangles are achieved during HDPE injection moulding and are resistant to UV radiation, chemical and acid attack.
"EMR likes the Dolav containers as they are strong and durable which facilitates the easy handling and storage of scrap batteries in a safe and environmentally sound manner. The new Dolav colour coding system makes containers unique to a company and therefore easily identifiable," said an EMR spokesperson.
Dolav, which has a 15-year track record in the automotive battery recycling industry, is confident it can assist waste battery handlers and recyclers as it has elsewhere in Europe.
Marketing manager, Maria Plastow at Dolav explained: "The new regulations will necessitate major investment to ensure producers – and the Battery Compliance Scheme operators – function legally. Finding the right containers to transport and store batteries will play a vital role in that process.
"Dolav has been involved in lead acid battery recycling for more than 15 years. Lead is valuable but dangerous in the wrong place and heavy. Sulphuric acid can be recovered safely provided it is handled with care. In Norway, Sweden (sequence picture: Auto battery recycling in Sweden with Dolavs.jpg), Denmark, Poland and other countries we have provided Dolav heavy-duty pallet boxes made from structural foam HDPE to safely support 750kg of lead and safely contain any spillage of sulphuric acid.
Dolav’s long life products, which have seen sales in the UK and Ireland hit the 400,000 mark over the past 30 years, are extensively engineered to withstand the tough world of materials handling container abuse in the recycling and industry. Unlike seemingly similar products Dolavs are made using a structural foam injection moulding process which leaves low built in stress, higher load support and immense resistance to heavy handling.
"The heavy sectioned Dolav containers have very low built in stress because of the production process. Lower stress means higher impact resistance and less stress to be relieved by the searching nature of highly corrosive acids.
"The runners on the Dolav containers are an integral part of the injection moulding process, not snap-in as on most lighter weight pallet boxes. This adds to strength and security when pallet boxes are mechanically handled and inverted to discharge contents. The Dolav containers are well within safely limits when moving the exceptionally heavy lead acid batteries.
"Future generations do not want to uncover contaminated ground or suffer from leaching of dangerous chemicals into our streams and rivers. Dolav can play its part in preventing this and making profits for the recyclers." More on Dolav at: www.dolav-uk.co.uk