The UK could have its first two battery recycling facilities up and running by the end of the year after resource efficiency specialist Ecosurety and recycling expert Belmont announced plans this week to open a battery recycling plant near Glasgow in November.
The site would be able to recycle 20,000 tonnes of batteries every year – more than the UK’s entire annual waste battery supply – rendering the country “self-sufficient” in battery disposal before Brexit takes effect in 2019, the two firms said.
Based at Belmont’s Kilwinning site, the facility will handle all types of batteries, from small household alkaline batteries to industrial lithium units.
It is set to be only the second battery recycling facility in the UK, with the country’s first due to open next month in Yorkshire. Run by WasteCare and BatteryBack, the Yorkshire site also promises to be able to process the UK’s entire annual supply of waste alkaline and lithium batteries.
At the moment most of the UK’s waste batteries are shipped to France and Belgium for processing.
Ecosurety claims processing batteries in the UK instead could dramatically cut the UK’s waste export bill and in turn reduce costs for battery producers, which are often compelled to contribute to export costs.
“This partnership means the UK could potentially stop sending batteries abroad for recycling, reducing the additional environmental impacts of shipping tens of thousands of tonnes of potentially hazardous waste across the sea to Northern Europe every year,” Damian Lambkin, head of innovation at Ecosurety, said in a statement.
“It is also a big win for producers who will not have to cover the additional cost burdens of sending spent batteries overseas. This is proof that the UK waste and recycling industry can find its own innovative solutions to our waste resourcing issues through partnership working.”