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Domestic battery recycling facilities planned

Wednesday, August 23, 2017 - 11:06:15

With millions of gadgets, including smartphones and tablets, making use of on-board batteries to supply them with power, the issue of what to do with the cells once they are no longer of use is significant.

Thankfully, Britain will have a pair of recycling plants dedicated to dealing with old batteries up and running before the end of 2017, according to letsrecycle.com.

The first, based in Yorkshire, is a purpose built facility set to open its doors for the first time next month. The second, based in Scotland, is being created alongside an existing e-waste plant that already receives a large volume of old electronics, many of which require batteries.

The batteries processed by the plants will be sourced from a range of schemes, including collections from homes around the UK and also via partnerships with businesses. So people who want to recycle their old phone can now be fairly confident that the battery will be dealt with domestically, rather than being shipped overseas.

A lot of the UK’s recycling is not dealt with at home because the country lacks the infrastructure to handle it all. So investment in facilities like this is seen as an important part of improving sustainability and reducing carbon emissions.

Another advantage of recycling batteries from old smartphones and other devices on British soil is that the companies responsible for collecting them will no longer have to face the often steep fees associated with exporting them overseas.

Even with the two facilities opening up this year, experts estimate that up to a fifth of old batteries will still need to be sent outside of the UK for processing. This is a big improvement on the current 100 per cent export rate and reflects well on the progress that the nation is making.




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