Recycling of Batteries Promoted by European Commission

Since early 2000, European policy has targeted the prevention of waste from consumers and recycling.

The framework for treatment and recycling requirements of waste batteries and accumulators is laid down in Directive 2006/66/EC. However, a precise description of the recycling goals and processes is set out in the new Regulation (EU) 493/2012, which defines how the ambitious goals of battery recycling will be achieved.

All waste batteries and accumulators, such as lead-acid and nickel-cadmium cells, must now be recycled. The recycling process does not include the steps involved in sorting or preparation of batteries for recycling, but is defined as the reprocessing operations carried out on waste batteries and accumulators. Only when the materials have ceased to be waste is the recycling process considered complete and the output fraction can be used for another purpose without any further treatment with the exception of energy recovery.

Directive 2006/66/EC defines the recycling efficiencies required as 75% for nickel-cadmium batteries calculated on their original weight and 50% for other waste batteries and accumulators, while Annex I of Regulation (EU) 493/2012 ( details the overall recycling process for waste batteries and accumulators with a method of calculation for the recycling efficiency.

Published in the Official Journal of the European Union on June 12, 2012, Regulation (EU) 493/2012 comes into force for recycling processes from January 1, 2014. Methods to calculate the efficiency of lead and cadmium battery recycling are explicitly defined in Annexes II and III of the Regulation and reporting templates are featured in Annexes IV, V, and VI that recyclers must use to inform the competent authorities of their Member State every year. The first of these reports will become due by April 30, 2015.

About SGS Electrical and Electronics Services
As the world's leader in third party testing, SGS Electrical and Electronics (E&E) ( identifies the applicable regulations and standards for electrical and electronic products and target markets. The SGS global footprint provides solutions whatever your location. SGS experts can support you with product compliance and requirements related to consumer products. Whether you need chemical testing or services in the fields of inspection, certification, compliance assurance, outsourcing, training or auditing, SGS is dedicated to satisfy your specific needs. SGS specializes in services that ensure your products are fit for the market requirements of the future – whatever the legal framework is.

Contact details:

SGS Consumer Testing Services
Dr. Udo Krischke
Global Technical Manager RSTS
Im Maisel 14, 65232 Taunusstein, Germany

t: +49 (0)6128 - 744 235

SGS is the world's leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With 70,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,350 offices and laboratories around the world.

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