You must offer free of charge collection (‘takeback’) of waste portable batteries if you sell or supply 32kg or more of portable batteries a year.

One pack of 4 AA batteries per day equals about 32kg per year.

This rule applies if you run a shop, a chain or sell batteries online, by mail order or telephone. You must offer the service at each premise from which batteries are supplied.

Batteries that you must take back

You must take back any type of sealed battery that can be carried without difficulty by an average person.

This would include (but is not limited to) AA, AAA and 9v batteries, including rechargables, plus batteries from:

  • mobile phones
  • laptops
  • hearing aids
  • watches
  • portable cameras
  • torches
  • electric toothbrushes
  • razors
  • hand-held vacuum cleaners

You do not need to take back car and motorbike batteries or batteries from industrial equipment.

The collection point

You must provide collection point in your place of business, eg shop, warehouse or offices.

It should be suitable for the safe storage of all kinds of portable batteries, not only the types you sell.

You must let people know that you collect used batteries, for example by displaying posters in your premises or publishing the location of your collection point online.

Download posters and get more information at the RecycleNow Partners website. You’ll need to register but there’s no fee.

Send batteries to be recycled

A battery compliance scheme will collect your batteries free of charge - search online to find one.

To transport batteries yourself, eg to a recycling plant, you will need a waste carrier licence and will usually need to follow the law on moving and transferring hazardous waste.

Smaller retailers and distributors

Retailers selling fewer than 32 kg don’t have to run a takeback scheme. If you decide to take waste batteries back you may have to arrange collection and transport for recycling yourself and follow the law on hazardous waste.

Speak to a compliance scheme operator first - they may offer a collection.

Enforcement and penalties

The Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) manage the takeback scheme and their officers can visit your premises at any time to check how you are handling waste batteries.

VCA Helpline
Telephone: 0300 330 5799
Find out about call charges

You could be fined up to £5,000 if you don’t comply with the Regulations.

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