June 2008 – Recycle the batteries!
A new European Directive coming into force on 26th September will require businesses to dispose of batteries separately from their general waste.
Directive 2006/66/EC recognises that batteries contain hazardous metals and need to be disposed of accordingly, meaning that disposing of batteries in normal landfill sites will be prohibited.
The directive applies to all kinds of batteries including mobile phone batteries. Businesses will be asked to put them in a battery box and that box will be collected by a waste contractor or a waste management company and disposed of through an appropriate approved organisation.
Businesses need to start adopting this procedure as of September this year and then be seen to be actively promoting it during its first 12 months. After that the directive requires the UK and every other EU member state to be recycling a minimum of 25% of their batteries by 2012 and a minimum of 45% by 2016.
Batteries have always been treated as a hazardous waste item, but now measures are being tightened up as Governments realise they simply cannot be allowed go to landfill.