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EBRA reports decline in battery recycling

Europe – ‘The European battery recycling industry is facing some important challenges,’ according to Alain Vassart, General Secretary of the European Battery Recycling Association (EBRA). His comment follows the announcement that registered association members experienced a 5% fall in battery recycling during 2011.

The volume of batteries recycled in Europe dropped from 36 963 tonnes in 2010 to 34 997 tonnes the following year, new EBRA figures indicate. There had also been a slight drop of 1% in 2009 when 37 208 tonnes was recycled. ‘These statistics cover all types of batteries and accumulators, primary or secondary, portable, industrial and automotive, with the exception of lead-acid batteries,’ EBRA notes in a report.

‘To make this new recycling industry attractive in the future, decent economic conditions and a fair level playing field should be granted to recyclers,’ argues Mr Vassart.

The decline has been attributed in part to the fact that growth in the consumer and portable collection market for both primary and secondary batteries was lower than anticipated. Health and safety issues are also said to have been a factor, particularly with regard to the recycling of primary and secondary lithium batteries. Nevertheless, Mr Vassart insists EBRA members are anticipating a surge in future tonnages and are investing in recycling efficiency compliance requirements.

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