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Battery Recycling Now Available

23rd March 2010

Photograph of Battery Recycling Now Available

New facilities to recycle household batteries are now in place at all Recycling Centres across Highland. AAA's normally used for TV remote controls and AA's used for many children's toys, as well as mobile phone, camera and electronic batteries are just some of the types suitable for this latest service.

Research shows that the average household uses 21 batteries per year which means that approximately 600million batteries are sent to landfill in the UK every year, the equivalent weight of 110 Jumbo Jets.

The Highland Council's Chairman of TEC Services, Councillor John Laing said: "Batteries contain heavy metals which can present a risk to health, safety and the environment when disposed of in landfill sites. Providing such facilities will help dispose of such toxic chemicals in a safe manner. This is excellent news so soon after the recent launch of our Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) recycling facilities.

"Although we strongly encourage people to use re-chargable batteries instead of the disposable ones, we hope that everyone will take full advantage of the new collection bins."

New UK regulations require that 25% of all portable domestic batteries sold are recycled by 2012, rising to 45% by 2016. The current collection rate in the UK is estimated to be around 2.3%. Retailers selling batteries such as supermarkets, local hardware stores, and electrical stores will have to provide recycling collection facilities in-store and it is now the legal responsibility of battery producers to fund such battery collection schemes. This means that over the next year there will be more places where you can take your old batteries for recycling.

All household battery types will be collected and recycled including re-chargeable, non-rechargeable and battery packs from electronic and electrical equipment. It doesn't matter if the batteries are full, completely discharged or only part used. Batteries that can be recycled are those which are:

Single cell household batteries, such as AA, AAA, button and 'square' batteries used for items such as torches, clocks, shavers, radios, personal stereo's, watches and calculators.

Mobile phones, laptop computers, cordless power tools, toys and household appliances batteries.

Used for hearing aids, pacemakers and photographic equipment.

Although the new battery recycling facilities will help reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill there are ways you can avoid using batteries in the first place: -

Use the mains when possible.

Use rechargeable batteries - this saves energy because the energy needed to manufacture a battery is on average 50 times greater than the energy it gives out.

Opt for appliances that can use power derived from the sun via solar panels or from a winding mechanism, e.g. radios, mobile phone wind-up chargers.

The new collection bins at the Council's Recycling Centres are not for car or other vehicle batteries however there are separate facilities to recycle these at most Recycling Centres. For further information about battery recycling or for advice on waste minimisation and recycling, telephone 01349 868439, email recycle[AT]highland.gov.uk or visit www.highland.gov.uk/recycle.

 

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