I wrote to a few supermarkets asking them what their stance is on the recycling of batteries. I raised it because a new Directive states that accessible recycling points must be set up for distributors to take spent batteries & recycle them! 🙂 This is great! If I had to go to the local amenity site, I wouldn’t have bothered. If I can recycle them more easily, I will.
This Directive will make it easier, right? Here are the replies I got.
From Tesco (firstname.lastname@example.org): –
I appreciate you contacting us with regards to recycling batteries in store.
I’ve looked into this for you and would like to let you know that the government has just this month enacted the law relating to Battery Recycling. This requires all battery retailers to collect portable batteries from Feb. 2010. Now the law has been clarified, the industry is establishing the framework to achieve this efficiently. Tesco will be partnering with a Compliance Scheme over the next couple of months in order to be ready to comply with the new regulations. We may choose to launch collections later this year, ahead of our mandatory obligations, if the economics of providing the service allows.
The delay from the date we originally indicated is entirely down to the government not being able to confirm the legal framework for battery recycling in the UK within the original timescales. We have a limited number of battery recycling points still in Scotland, around Swansea, and the S’oton area, following a trial we participated in with WRAP.
I trust this information helps and thank you for taking the time to contact us. If I can help further, please just let me know.
If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com.
Customer Service Manager
Tesco Customer Service
From Waitrose (Customer_Service@waitrose.co.uk): –
Thank you for your e-mail.
We are currently trialling batteries recycling at our Waitrose Cambridge shop, which is an initiative part supported by the local authority. We apologise for any misinformation you have been given and the confusion this has caused.
In case you are not aware, the Batteries Directive is a new piece of legislation which will aim to make businesses that produce and sell batteries responsible for collecting and recycling spent batteries. However, the Batteries Directive is not expected to be transposed into UK law until September 2008. In the meantime, the Government is launching a consultation on implementing the legislation and the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) is carrying out work to determine the most cost effective way of collecting batteries to meet the targets under the forthcoming Directive. As a retailer of batteries, it is therefore likely that we will offer some form of batteries recycling in the future, either directly through our own operations or indirectly through an approved government scheme.
In the interim, the following websites provide more information on batteries recycling.
We hope that this information will be of assistance.
Waitrose Customer Service.
From Sainsbury’s (firstname.lastname@example.org): –
Thank you for your email about battery collection and recycling.
From November 2006, Freepost envelopes were available in Sainsbury’s stores nationwide to allow customers to send off mobile phones and inkjet printer cartridges and batteries, all of which were to be re-used or recycled.
Sainsbury’s Freepost recycling scheme for batteries was suspended on 19th Feb 2008 at the request of the Post Office.
A problem arose where large amounts of industrial batteries were being sent for recycling under the scheme, these are classed as hazardous waste and it is illegal for the Post Office to handle them.
Negotiations are under way to try to find a resolution which would allow us to resume the scheme. In the meantime battery recycling points are currently provided by local authorities. Please contact your local authority for more information.
Thank you for taking the time to contact us as our customers comments help us to improve our products and services.
We look forward to seeing you in store soon.
Sainsbury’s Customer Services
Sainsbury’s suggested that I contact my local authority so I did. Here’s the reply I got: –
From: PublicRealm [mailto:email@example.com]
Good Morning Miss Modi,
We acknowledge receipt of your email dated 2nd October 2009, regarding disposal of batteries, these items can be recycled at our Civic Amenity Site, Forward Drive, Wealdstone, Harrow, HA3 8NT.
Harrow Clicks at www.harrow.gov.uk
Tel: 020 8424 1770
I then contacted Andrew Baker (firstname.lastname@example.org) to ask if there was a way around what Sainsbury’s had said. Here’s his reply: –
If you are asking whether Harrow will help out Sainsburys and the post office, the answer is no. It is a problem for them to resolve with the relevant regulators.
We will continue to provide the facility at the civic amenity site for household batteries.
What do you think of all this?
Is it OK?
Is it good enough?
Were supermarkets given enough time to prepare for this Directive? If so, is this lip service, are they stalling, do they simply not care?