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UK to expand battery recycling scheme

Drop-off points to be opened in 33 stores

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UK recycling quango WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) is to widen is battery collection programme. The scheme is still in a trial phase, but the expansion will see battery drop-off points placed in a number of high street shops and by post in partnership with the Royal Mail.

Next month, 33 Argos, B&Q, Currys, Currys.digital, Homebase, PC World and Tesco stores in Eastleigh, Hampshire and Swansea, Wales will begin accepting old batteries. Further shops in Perth & Kinross will be added to the list at a later date, WRAP said.

Cumbria county council, Eden district council and Dumfries & Galloway council will be running postal collection services in rural areas, while the London Borough of Camden will open a number of street-side drop-off points. These will also appear in Cherwell, Oxfordshire.

WRAP said the trials cover all non-lead household batteries, but not car batteries or powerpacks designed for industrial use. All collected batteries will be recycled by West Midlands firm G&P Batteries, it said.

Rechargeable batteries are on the list, including laptop units. Currently, UK households together chuck out 22,000 tonnes of used batteries, of which fewer than 220 tonnes are offered for recycling and safe disposal. ®

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