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Batteries


Free Waste Battery Take Back Scheme
EU Directive on Batteries
Consultation
Regulatory Impact Assessment
Further Information


Free Waste Battery Take Back Scheme

 

Retailers

  • are obliged to take back waste batteries free of charge of the type that they sell – for instance, if you sell portable batteries such as types AAA, AA, Cell C, Cell D, PP3 etc. you will not be obliged to take back automotive, industrial or small sealed lead acid batteries for alarms.
  • of automotive and industrial batteries must register with their local authority.
  • may deposit waste portable batteries free of charge at local authority civic amenity facilities.

Importers of batteries must

  • finance the collection, treatment and recycling of waste batteries.  This obligation may be undertaken individually or as part of a collective compliance scheme.
  • Be listed on the WEEE Register (external link)
  • Two collective compliance schemes, ERP Ireland and WEEE Ireland have been approved.
    • ERP Ireland, who collect in the functional areas of Limerick City Council and Cavan, Clare, Fingal, Kerry, Leitrim, Limerick, Louth, Meath and Monaghan County Councils can be contacted at +353 (0)1 662 4040
    • WEEE Ireland, collect in the functional areas of the remaining local authorities and can be contacted at +353 (0)1 299 9320

Members of the public should not place waste batteries in waste disposal or recycling bins.  All waste batteries must be collected & recycled by depositing them at retail outlets or local authority recycling facilities. More information regarding waste electrical and electronic equipment is available on the WEEE page of this website.

These regulations provide for the free take back of all waste batteries and accumulators, otherwise known as rechargable batteries, in-store and at designated locations.

  • Members of the public will be entitled to deposit waste batteries at retail outlets.
  • Retailers are only obligated to take back batteries of a type they supply, for instance, retailers will not have to take back a car battery if they only sell batteries suitable for a torch or remote control.
  • Members of the public are not obliged to make a purchase when depositing waste batteries at a retail outlet.
  • Members of the public can also deposit waste portable batteries and waste car batteries from privately registered vehicles at local authority civic amenity facilities free of charge.

In order to maximise the take back of waste batteries and ensure that Ireland achieves collection target set by the EU; the regulations also permit all workplaces and schools/colleges, subject to the agreement of management, to be designated as collection points.  Any businesses or school/college wishing to provide take tack facilities on their premises in the functional areas of -

  • Limerick City Council, Cavan, Clare, Fingal, Kerry, Leitrim, Limerick, Louth, Meath, and Monaghan County Councils may contact the European Recycling Platform (ERP) Ireland at 2-4 Ely Place, Dublin 2  by Phone: +353 (0)1 662 4040 or E-mail: Ireland@erp-recycling.org
  • all other local authorities may contact WEEE Ireland, Suite 18, The Mall, Beacon Court, Sandyford,  Dublin 18 by Phone:+353 (0)1 299 9320 or E-mail: info@weeeireland.ie   

The Regulations were signed into law following a public consutation process and with the assistance of the Batteries Working Group, representing key stakeholders. 

These Regulations transpose in full EU Directive 2006/66/EC on waste batteries.

Waste Management (Batteries and Accumulators) Regulations (SI 268 of 2008) (pdf, 334kb)

Explanatory Notes to Waste Management (Batteries and Accumulators) Regulations (S.I. No 268 of 2008) (pdf, 409kb)

Waste Management (Batteries and Accumulators)(Amendment) Regulations 2008 (SI No 556 of 2008) (pdf, 103kb)



EU Directive on Batteries

 

The objectives of the Directive are twofold:

  • Environmental objective: creation of a closed-loop system for all batteries to avoid their incineration or disposal in a landfill.
  • Internal market objective: establish minimum rules for the proper functioning of the national collection and recycling schemes.

 

Distributor / Retailer Obligations under the Directive

Applied to a “Distributor" meaning any person that provides batteries and accumulators on a professional basis to an end-user, certain obligations exist:

  • Retailers take back obligation involves no cost to the end user and with no obligation to purchase.
  • Receptacles for waste batteries will have to be located at a suitable location in the store (it will be the responsibility of self complying producers and compliance schemes to supply receptacles)
  • Obligations apply to Portable, Industrial and Automotive batteries
  • Take back systems for household batteries may operate in conjunction with take back systems for household WEEE.
  • Retailers will be prohibited from placing on the market, batteries supplied by an unregistered producer.
  • Retailers who import batteries form outside the state have producer responsibilities.

Producer Obligations under the Directive

"Producer" means any person in a Member State that, irrespective of the selling technique used, including by means of distance communication, places batteries or accumulators, including those incorporated into appliances or vehicles, on the market for the first time within the territory of that Member State on a professional basis. These obligations include:

  • electrical and electronic equipment design must enable removal of incorporated batteries and accumulators.
  • producers must provide for treatment and recycling using best available techniques (BAT).
  • Batteries and accumulators collected with waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) must be removed.
  • Specified recycling efficiencies to be achieved.
  • Sine 26 September 2008 producer obligations to finance the collection, treatment and recycling of all waste batteries and accumulators and net costs associated with public information campaigns applies irrespective of when placed on the market.
  • Producers must be registered.
  • Producers must also ensure that batteries placed on the market comply with the directive including requirements that
    • all appropriate wheelie bin and chemical symbols are displayed visibly, legibly and indelibly
    • batteries do not contain excess quantities of mercury and cadmium
    • batteries that do not comply with the Directive must be withdrawn

 

Consultation

A public consultation process, co-ordinated by the Batteries Working Group, a sub-committee of the WEEE Monitoring Group, received 25 submissions which guided the Department in finalising the Regulations.  You can read a summary of the submissions below.

Summary of Submissions regarding SI 268 of 2008 (pdf, 277kb)



Regulatory Impact Assessment

A screening Regulatory Impact Assessment  was undertaken by this Department.  The RIA is available below

RIA in respect of SI 268 of 2008 (pdf, 233kb) 


Further Information


PRI Section,
Waste Policy & Resource Efficiency,
Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government,
Newtown Road,
Wexford.

Phone: +353 (0)1 888 7343 / 7345
Fax:  +353 (0)1 888 4639
Email: pri@environ.ie