Sheffield Occupational Health and Safety Association :: View topic - Collection and transporting portable batteries

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D.Emblen
Executive Committee
Executive Committee


Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 11
Location: Sheffield
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 3:21 pm Reply with quote Back to top
Ok, now we have this in the right forum Cool

I'm after your thoughts and some advice if possible.

We are looking to collect old portable batteries (from clocks, torches, smoke detectors etc etc, not commercial power packs or auto batteries) from the numerous health care locations around Sheffield we control or work into. We are hoping to have a simple collection tub at each location and collect on an 'as and when' basis returning them to a central point. These will be collected and returned to a central collecting point via our stores and general delivery system. We have been offered the services of a waste contractor who will collect these batteries in minimum quantities of 50kg from this central point under an agreement and a favourable cost.

I understand that these batteries are subject to the waste regulations once the contractor becomes involved but and my reading of the available literature does not make it clear, at what point do the batteries stop being ours that we are just moving about internally, and become waste that needs to be managed under the regulations.

The issue is that if we have to register all our vehicles that will pick up these small quantities, as waste carriers it makes it cost prohibitive. We also would also want to role the service out to other health care organisations other than our own whom we provide services into, will that make a difference?

We know that there are other public recycling points for batteries that staff could take ours along to but would that also be taking commercial waste and putting into a public/domestic recycling facility.

Hope you can help.
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Head of Soft Facilities Management, Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Trust
 
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D.Emblen
Executive Committee
Executive Committee


Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 11
Location: Sheffield
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 4:07 pm Reply with quote Back to top
Cool I thought as Id not had a response Ill post the outcome.

After some lengthy discussions with the environment agency it seems that they are eager to promote such schemes but are reluctant to relax any of the regulations to make it easier, however we have reached an agreement. We have negotiated with a Battery Recycling company a free pick up from a central collection point once every two months of any battery we have collected under the scheme. Its worth pointing out that as long as there is less that 50 kg of batteries and we are not storing them for more that 3 months we can class it as temporary storage under the waste regulations. This saves a lot of problems and cost which is why we stipulated bi-monthly collections and a holding bin that would not take more that 50 kg, also this is the minimum amount and frequency the recycling company will collect for free.

The route for returning these batteries for collection from all our satellite sites will be via our internal round robin post system and we are in the process of having self sealing plastic envelopes printed up to put the old batteries in (similar to the printer cartridge recycling envelopes). The envelope is the control point i.e. if it wont go in the envelope it is to big to go via this recycling route and should be dealt with under our WEE recycling policy. Piggybacking it on to the existing internal post system cuts cost to the point we only have to pay for the envelopes as early indications are that the quantities coming back are easily absorbed into the internal post system. In addition the small envelope does not present a manual handling issue for our more delicate reception staff unlike the larger 5lt collection tubs held within reception areas that we first tried. At the post sorting point we just have a bin and any battery recycling envelope is put directly into the larger bin without opening, ready for collection by the waste recycling company.

Mobile phone batteries are specifically dealt with under the collection and delivery of mobile phones so should not present a problem. The waste recycling company have also said that should any be put in by mistake then their process can deal with small quantities at their end.

Once we have the bags printed and the system is up and running, Ill update with any more information we have.
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C.Jerman
Executive Committee
Executive Committee


Joined: Mar 11, 2008
Posts: 148
Location: Chesterfield, Derbyshire
PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:07 am Reply with quote Back to top
Thanks for that. We have the same issue with old fluorescent tubes. I still think that this is a nonsense. They are just batteries. My view would be unless they are completely flat, they aren't waste! No problem transporting or storing new batteries in any quantity, so why the problem with nearly flat ones. It just doesn't make sense in my book. Fine if they were radioactive isotopes, but old batteries.

You do have to wonder. Anyway, glad you got sorted and thanks once again for your posting of the answer.

Chris
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