Batteries and the Consumer
Waste batteries are a form of hazardous waste that can cause environmental damage and pollution if not disposed of correctly. Therefore, batteries should never be disposed of with general household waste. Battery recycling in Ireland is now both free and widely available to members of the public. Any shops or businesses that sell batteries must accept returned waste batteries, free of charge. The main points of the battery take-back scheme state:
- Members of the public are entitled to deposit waste batteries at any retail outlet where similar types of batteries are sold, free of charge.
- Returned batteries must be accepted by retailers regardless of where they were originally purchased.
- Customers are not obliged to make any purchase when disposing of waste batteries at a retail premises.
- Retailers are only required to accept waste batteries of a type that they sell or supply. For example, retailers do not have to accept a returned car battery if they only sell batteries suitable for use in a torch.
- Customers can return up to a maximum of 5 kilos of waste batteries to a retailer at any given time.
- Retailers are not obliged to accept any leaking or damaged batteries from customers.
Waste portable batteries can also be brought to all Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council civic amenity facilities free of charge. Members of the public may also bring waste car batteries from privately registered vehicles to Ballyogan Recycling Park for free disposal.
A Distributor is defined within the Regulations as "any person that provides batteries and accumulators on a professional basis to an end-user." Therefore, all Retailers who sell batteries (and products containing batteries) are regarded as Distributors.
Any Distributors supplying Industrial and Automotive batteries must either register their premises free of charge through an approved body such as WEEE Ireland Ltd., or else register with their local authority on an annual basis, paying the prescribed fee of €200 per application.
Distributors who opt to register their premises with DLR County Council annually must complete the WEEE & Batteries Retailer Registration Form and return it to the Infrastructure & Climate Change Dept, together with the prescribed fee of €200 per application.
Other measures affecting battery Distributors include the following obligations:
- Retailers shall provide a waste battery take-back service at no cost to the general public, and with no obligation to purchase.
- Receptacles for returned batteries shall be provided on the premises, and be conveniently positioned for customers.
- Specific information and signage must be displayed on all premises where batteries are sold.
- Retailers are prohibited from placing on the market any batteries supplied by an unregistered Producer.
Retailers may obtain free battery deposit boxes, information material and arrange for the collection of waste batteries from their premises by contacting WEEE Ireland at ph. (01) 299 9320. Boxes are also available for collection by retailers at the Public Counter, Infrastructure & Climate Change Dept., Level 3, Harbour Square, Crofton Road, Dún Laoghaire.
Further detailed information on the Waste Management (Batteries & Accumulators) Regulations is available on the Department of the Environment, Heritage & Local Government website.