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Waste Management - Essay Example

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While consumer batteries are prevalent in all households today, only few understand the environmental hazard they pose. With a growing dependence on technology items that range from computers, phones, televisions to various toys, the usage rates of batteries have gone up drastically…
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Waste Management
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Download file to see previous pages This amounts to 20,000 to 30,000 tonnes of general battery waste generated each year. Facilities for recycling automotive batteries are well developed and 90% of the highly hazardous automotive batteries go for recycling. However comparatively, only one percent of household batteries go for recycling. In 2000, approximately 19,000 tonnes of waste general usage batteries and 113,000 tonnes of automotive batteries had to be disposed. Most of these were dumped in landfill sites. Approximately 680 million batteries were purchased in UK in 2001, and statistics show that over 89% of these were general purpose batteries. Figures in other countries like US and Japan are as devastating. Estimates1 indicate that over three billion industrial and household batteries were sold in the US in 1998, and battery consumption rate rose by 5.8 percent annually through 2002. Between 1998 and 2003, the global demand for secondary batteries grew by 67% with Japan holding 65% of the market share in 2003. The cost of recycling varies in different countries, while some base it on the chemistry of the battery, others measure it across tonnage alone. However the basic cost for recycling batteries approximately comes to $1,000 to $2,000US per ton. The costs double when transportation is also included. This is a figure that all countries are trying to bring down, with Europe aiming to achieve the figure of $300 per ton (Buchmann, 2001).

Authorities responsible for managing battery waste
Currently various local authorities have been established specifically for managing battery waste. The Waste and Recycling Action Plan (WRAP) has started various programmes across UK for battery collection. REBAT is another organization in the UK set up to manage and collect portable rechargeable batteries. It is a component of the British Battery Manufacturer Association, and provides comprehensive information on recycling companies and support for battery recycling. A few of the battery recycling plants and programs set up in Europe include names of G&P Batteries, the first recycling plant dedicated to recycling household batteries. Britannia Refined Metals in Kent and HJ Enthoven & Sons in Derbyshire are two recycling ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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