Premier Waste Management is making it easier to recycle batteries as research reveals that almost half the population of the UK have never recycled a household battery.
The research was carried out by Yougov on behalf of the European Recycling Platform and shows that 49% of the UK population have never recycled a household battery while 45% don’t know if there is a battery recycling collection point near where they live or work.
The figures have been revealed as the UK is striving to meet a strict EU directive which sets member countries the target of recycling 25% of batteries sold by 2012 and 45% by 2016.
Furthermore, the EU recently highlighted a list of critical chemicals that are used in battery manufacture and which are at a high supply risk. Antimony, indium, beryllium, magnesium, cobalt, niobium, fluorspar, platinum group, gallium, rare earths, germanium, tantalum, graphite and tungsten as being at a high supply risk. Access to these chemicals could be a problem in the future, unless greater levels of battery recycling can be achieved.
Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) found the average UK household sends 21 portable batteries a year to landfill – a total of 600 million units.
Premier collects used batteries for recycling at each of the company’s household waste recycling sites across County Durham. To make it easier to collect batteries from residential properties, Premier is offering free collection bags to anyone who requests one from their recycling sites.
Householders can use the bags to keep the used batteries in one place making it easier to remember them on the next visit to the recycling site. All battery types can be recycled including both rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries, small button cells and battery packs from electronic and electrical equipment.
Premier also accepts and recycles car batteries at its household waste recycling sites, although these batteries won’t fit inside the collection bags.
Commenting on the new battery recycling service, Premier’s head of marketing Tony Hitchens said: "We know that we need to do more as a country to increase our rates of battery recycling. With such low levels of public awareness, meeting our EU targets will be very difficult and will require a more vigorous approach.
"That is why Premier Waste Management is making it easier for people in the North East to recycle batteries. We are offering the battery collection bags to anyone using our recycling sites.
"Dead batteries are full of chemicals that can be used again. The batteries we collect are taken to a re-processing facility where they are crushed and the chemicals used in their manufacture are extracted. The metal skin of the battery is also recovered."
A list of all Premier household waste recycling sites is available on the Premier Waste Management website in the ‘recycling at home’ section.