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Collection rate and recycling efficiency targets

According to recital 14 of the Directive, achieving high collection and recycling rates for waste batteries and accumulators, by the individual Member States, facilitates a high level of environmental protection and material recovery throughout the Community.

The Directive sets minimum collection and recycling targets for Member States (MS), to ensure the efficiency of the collection and recycling of waste batteries and accumulators. Recital 14 specifies that such targets should be developed on the basis of average annual sales of preceding years, to ensure comparable targets for all Member States that are proportionate to the national level of consumption of such equipment.

Collection rate targets:

Article 10(2) specifies the following minimum collection rates, also requiring Member States to monitor collection rates on a yearly basis and to report the results thereof. A scheme is set out in Annex I of the Directive , detailing what parameters should be monitored by MS on an annual basis.

(a) 25 % by 26 September 2012;

(b) 45 % by 26 September 2016.

Where Member States face difficulties with compliance with these targets, the Commission may establish transitional arrangements to address such difficulties. It is assumed that these could formulate best practices that have been identified as successful in facilitating the achievement of targets in selected MS.

Recycling efficiency targets:

Regarding the recycling of collected batteries and accumulators; the Directive envisions that schemes be set up by producers or third parties for the treatment recycling of batteries and accumulators, using best available techniques, in terms of the protection of health and the environment. The treatment of all batteries and accumulators collected according to Directive 2002/96/EC (WEEE) is required to fulfil a minimum level of health, safety and waste management. Batteries and accumulators collected with WEEE should be removed from the equipment in which they are installed. Such treatment techniques must comply with minimum requirements set out in Annex III, Part A, whereas their efficiency is required to meet the recycling efficiencies and associated provisions set out in Annex III, Part B. Rules for calculating efficiency levels should be developed. The following efficiencies for various types of batteries and accumulators are envisioned in part B:

“(a) recycling of 65 % by average weight of lead-acid batteries and accumulators, including recycling of the lead content to the highest degree that is technically feasible while avoiding excessive costs;

(b) recycling of 75 % by average weight of nickel-cadmium batteries and accumulators, including recycling of the cadmium content to the highest degree that is technically feasible while avoiding excessive costs; and

(c) recycling of 50 % by average weight of other waste batteries and accumulators.”

 In the case of portable batteries or accumulators containing cadmium, mercury or lead, Member States may decide to dispose of these in landfills or through storage, when no viable end market is available. If the it can be shown that from an environmental, an economic, and a social perspective, that disposal is preferable over recycling, Member States can decide to phase-out such batteries.