WEEE Ireland is urging the agricultural sector to recycle all waste batteries, especially farm fence batteries, as new legislation due later this year is expected to increase collection targets from 45% to 63% by 2027.
The not-for-profit compliance scheme for electrical and battery recycling made the call along with Ministers Ossian Smyth and Pippa Hackett, as figures reveal almost 500 tonnes of waste farm fence batteries have been collected for recycling since 2019.
Around 10% of the overall batteries collected by WEEE Ireland are farm fence batteries, and last year it collected and recycled 125 tonnes, 15% more than the 108 tonnes collected in 2021.
WEEE Ireland has operated a scheme for the takeback and management of waste batteries in Ireland since 2008, when the European Batteries Directive came into force.
“Like many other sectors, the Agri sector and their battery suppliers will be impacted by forthcoming new EU battery regulations this summer, which will update and replace the current rules,” said Leo Donovan, CEO of WEEE Ireland.
“This includes a significant increase in collection targets to drive even better recycling and resource recovery efficiency. The heavier types of batteries from farms will be essential to ensuring Ireland reaches its targets, and WEEE Ireland is committed to helping the agricultural sector by providing a convenient and free recycling solution.”
DROP OFF POINTS
WEEE Ireland says it is crucial to recycle all waste batteries correctly as they may contain harmful substances that can result in heavy metals and chemicals leaching into the environment, contaminating water and soil sources and affecting wildlife, livestock and humans.
Farm fence batteries can be dropped off for free recycling at any local authority recycling centres or where they were purchased for collection by WEEE Ireland.
Suppliers of farm fence batteries are also required to accept these batteries back for free recycling from their customers.
As the not-for-profit compliance scheme representing farm fence battery importers, WEEE Ireland is calling on all co-ops and distributors to the Agri Sector to participate in this free collection program.
New Farm Fence battery crates are available to co-ops and Agri supply companies to facilitate the recycling of old farm fence batteries.
To ensure safe recycling, batteries should be shrink-wrapped or strapped to the pallet prior to collection.
As part of its campaign, WEEE Ireland also reminds farmers and the general public to handle and dispose of all batteries safely and regularly to prevent potential hazards.
For more guidance on battery safety, visit weeeireland.ie/safety.