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The Recycling and Correct Disposal of General Purpose Batteries

Some Facts About Batteries

In 2001 we bought 680 million batteries in the UK, most of these (89%) were general purpose batteries.
It is estimated that in 2003 that 30,000 tonnes of waste general purpose batteries and 113,000 tonnes of waste automotive batteries required disposal in the UK.

Currently, only a very small percentage of consumer disposable batteries are recycled (less than 2%) and most waste batteries are disposed of in landfill sites. The rate for recycling of consumer rechargeable batteries is estimated to be 5%.

How Batteries Harm the Environment

Whilst the exact chemical make-up varies from type to type, most batteries contain heavy metals, which are the main cause for environmental concern.
When disposed of incorrectly, these heavy metals may leak into the ground when the battery casing corrodes. This can contribute to soil and water pollution and endanger wildlife.
Cadmium, for example, can be toxic to aquatic invertebrates and can bio-accumulate in fish, which makes them unfit for human consumption.
Some batteries, such as button cell batteries, also contain mercury, which has similarly hazardous properties.

Mercury is no longer being used in the manufacture of non-rechargeable batteries, except button cells where it is a functional component, and the major European battery suppliers have been offering mercury-free disposable batteries since 1994.


Nickel Cadmium, Nickel Metal Hydride, Lithium Ion, Mercury and Sealed Lead Acid batteries contain dangerous substances that are covered by various Acts of Legislation:

* Deposits of Poisonous Waste Act 1972
* Control of Pollution Act 1974
* Environmental Protection Act 1990
* Environment & Accumulators Regulations 1994

These Acts dictate that batteries falling into the above categories must not be disposed of with general refuse.

It should be noted that a rechargeable battery can be charged 1000 times and as such these batteries will dramatically reduce the number of batteries requiring disposal.

Proposed Bleep Battery Collection Operation. How It Aims To Improve Battery Recycling

As a responsible manufacturer and supplier of high quality domestic and industrial batteries we accept that there is a real necessity to ensure of their safe disposal for the benefit of the environment.

A recent Market Survey, conducted on our behalf, identified that the major reason people dispose of spent batteries with the household refuse is not through convenience, but simply because they have no other choice.

"What else can I do with them" was the overwhelming response.

It was very apparent that given the opportunity the vast majority of people would dispose of their batteries correctly for the benefit of the environment.

Bleep Battery Collection Bins
Bleep Battery Collection Bin Text

We believe the answer to the problem is battery collection for disposal bins' placed in schools, universities, supermarkets, shopping centers and retail outlets etc.

These bins should also have the means for testing the condition of a battery.

The bins would be collected on a regular basis by a registered recycling contractor and emptied at the local CA site for controlled disposal.

Schools are considered a very important location for these Disposal Bin's as children need to understand the importance for the correct disposal and recycling of certain products in order to safeguard their own environment long term.

Due to the ease of carrying batteries and the convenience of strategically placed collection bins, it can be certain that the above operation would have considerably more success than collecting batteries at a public recycling centre.

This information has been kindly given to us from Andrew Neill from Bleep Plc

Bleep Logo

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