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UK scores big in battery collection

United Kingdom – After achieving disappointing figures for 2010 and 2011 when collection rates of, respectively, 9.5% and 18% were achieved, the UK battery sector mounted a strong comeback last year.

New data from the country’s Environment Agency shows that the UK comfortably met the fixed collection target of 25% with a collection rate of nearly 28%. The UK collected a total of 10 915 tonnes of waste batteries in 2012, well above the obligation of 9563 tonnes as agreed under the Batteries Directive; some 6050 tonnes represented waste portable batteries.

The UK even managed a 32% collection rate for the first two quarters of 2012, adds the Environment Agency. However, collections slowed towards end of the year, with 2120 tonnes of waste portable batteries collected between October and December compared to 3225 tonnes between January and March.

Figures suggest the collection rate for portable lead-acid batteries equated to no less than 300% in 2012; production reached 3026 tonnes while over 9100 tonnes came in for recycling. ‘We welcome the collection rate achieved but recognise the concerns raised by industry and reported in the trade media about the high volume of portable lead-acid batteries being used to meet the targets,’ a spokeswoman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has stated. She adds that BIS and the Environment Agency are ‘working closely’ with battery businesses across the nation to address this issue.

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