UK battery recycling plan enters phase one

The U.K.’s WRAP (the Waste and Resources Action Programme) is expanding its battery recycling trials with the launch of new retail take-back, community drop-off and postal collection plans for batteries.

From October 2006, WRAP will work in partnership with local authorities, community groups, leading retailers and the Royal Mail to implement the new trials taking place in England, Scotland and Wales over the next 18 months.

These new initiatives follow the launch of kerbside collection trials in April 2006. WRAP’s kerbside battery recycling trials already cover over 350,000 households, and these new schemes will allow an additional 400,000 households to recycle their used batteries.

The scheme has won support from electrical and other retailers, including Argos, B&Q, Currys,, Homebase, PC World and Tesco. Trials will take place at 33 selected stores in Eastleigh, Hampshire; Swansea, Wales; and Perth & Kinross, Scotland (at a later date). Customers will be encouraged to bring unwanted batteries with them to the shops in order to deposit them in the special battery collection containers located in the stores.

The new community drop-off trials will be launched in two local authority areas later on in the year.

An attempt is also being made include rural communities, with the launch of postal trials with help from Royal Mail. Residents in Cumbria’s Eden district and Dumfries & Galloway will be sent pre-paid recycling envelopes to enable them to send back their used batteries for recycling, free of charge.

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