Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

How end users can recycle batteries

Battery recycling for end users

There are several different ways that you can recycle your batteries at the end of their life, depending on the type. For information on the different types, see the page in this guide on Identifying different battery types.

Recycling waste portable batteries

If your business uses portable batteries, your supplier will operate a take-back scheme unless they supply less than 32 kilograms of batteries per year. You should check with your supplier to find out their arrangements for the collection of waste portable batteries and whether they are convenient for you. You could also contact your current waste contractor to discuss what options they offer.

Waste management contractors and local authorities may also have collections available in your area.

Find your local council

Find your nearest waste site

Mixed waste batteries and certain types of batteries are classed as hazardous/special waste. You must only transport your waste batteries to sites that have the appropriate waste management licence or exemption from the NIEA or SEPA.

Hazardous/special waste

Recycling waste industrial batteries

If you buy new industrial batteries, the battery producer must, if requested, take back and collect your waste industrial batteries free of charge within the calendar year of purchase. Contact the supplier of your industrial battery to find out what arrangements they have in place.

If you are discarding your waste industrial batteries after the calendar year of purchase and not replacing them with new ones, you can approach the original supplier to request free take back and collection as long as they are still registered as a producer and placing that chemistry of industrial battery on the market (or have done so in the previous three years). Alternatively, you can approach other producers of industrial batteries for take back and collection free of charge as long as they are placing the same chemistry of battery on the market or have done so in the previous three years.

As a last resort, if you are unable to dispose of waste industrial batteries by either of the options above, you can contact any producer of industrial batteries to request take back and collection free of charge.

You can search for registered battery producers on the National Packaging Waste Database.

National Packaging Waste Database

Recycling waste automotive batteries

You are likely to be a 'final holder' of waste automotive batteries if you run a:

  • garage
  • scrap yard
  • end-of-life vehicle authorised treatment facility
  • local council civic amenity site

You can request free collection of waste automotive batteries from any producer who currently supplies new automotive batteries. For a list of registered producers:

  • in Northern Ireland you can call the NIEA Batteries Helpline on Tel 028 9056 9382
  • in Scotland you can call SEPA on Tel 01786 457700.

You may find that the value of lead in waste automotive batteries means that independent battery collectors may approach you to purchase and take away your waste batteries due to their value. However, you are likely to need a number of waste batteries to make it worth their while. You must make sure your waste automotive batteries are stored, handled, recycled or disposed of safely and legally by licensed individuals or businesses.

Duty of care - your waste responsibilities.

In this Guideline

Businesses affected by the batteries regulations

Identifying different battery types

Substance restrictions and battery labelling

Industrial and automotive battery producers responsibilites

Portable battery producers responsibilities

Portable batteries: distributor and retailer responsibilities

How end users can recycle batteries

Treating or recycling waste batteries

Exporting waste batteries

Battery compliance scheme operators responsibilities

Batteries: Environmental legislation

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Permits

NIEA - Apply online

SEPA - Application forms