Batteries

A battery (or accumulator) is defined in the Battery and Accumulator Regulations as: any source of electrical energy generated by direct conversion of chemical energy and consisting of one or more primary battery cells (non-rechargeable) or consisting of one or more secondary battery cells (rechargeable).

There are three types of batteries that are covered under these Regulations:

  • Portable batteries (including those found in blister packs used in household applicances, toys, mobile phones, remote controls, button cells used in cameras, watches etc.)
  • Industrial batteries (including those used in forklift trucks, electric pallet trucks, electric vehicles and golf buggies) and
  • Automotive batteries (ignition/starter batteries in cars, vans, trucks and boats).

In order to determine the type of battery you are selling, you can use the battery scoping decision-tree which can be found here.  

Obligations

Any person or organisation that manufacturers, produces, imports and/or sells batteries in Ireland has certain obligations. Further information is available for producer obligations and retailer/distributor obligations. Producers opting to self-comply with the Battery Regulations are required to submit annual reports and three-yearly plans to the EPA. Self-complying battery producers can download the templates for a Waste Battery Management Plan and a Waste Battery Management Report.

End-users of batteries

End-users of batteries can dispose of spent batteries in the following ways:

  • Return them to any retailer selling equivalent types of batteries i.e. retailers of car batteries do not have to accept portable batteries if they don't sell them. You do not need to buy new batteries in order to return waste batteries to your local retailer. 
  • Portable waste batteries can also be taken to your local civic amenity site free of charge.

Waste batteries must be separately collected for recycling and recovery of resources and the producer is responsible for arranging and financing this.  They must not be disposed of in general refuse or mixed waste streams and free take-back must be provided to all end-users.  This applies to both household and non-household end-users.  A system for the free take-back of waste batteries from the household waste stream is well established through retail outlets and civic amenity sites.

Remember:Waste batteries should never be placed in your household bin!

Useful Links:

Producer Register Ltd. (national producer registration body): www.producerregister.ie

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment: www.dccae.gov.ie 

WEEE Ireland (EEE and batteries compliance scheme): www.weeeireland.ie

European Recycling Platform (EEE and batteries compliance scheme): www.erp-recycling.ie

European Commission information on Batteries: 

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/batteries/index.htm