Elimination Modes For Equipment And Batteries

B Transfer (Sale 2nd.H.,

Figure 12. Elimination Modes for Equipment and Replacement Batteries

It is interesting to note that even in a country without tradition for the collection of spent batteries (all types) and of waste electrical and electronic equipment, the collection mode represents one of the three major ways for discarding used equipment. (N.B. In France the official SCRELEC campaign did only start one year before the hoarding study was performed). When this survey was performed, the existence of this national collection program had not yet reached a high level of knowledge by the consumer.

This survey has confirmed the correspondence (consistency) between this method of second hand acquisition and the elimination mode by transfer.

3.6. Quantity Available for Collection

When an equipment and/or a battery has reached the end of use, the consumer may discard it or take it back to a collection point. It becomes available for collection. Two

out of three elimination modes are considered when the availability for collection is defined:

1. Collection

2. Discarding in MSW

Indeed, it is not considered that the equipment which is transferred (§ 3.5.) is available for collection.

Quantity Available for Collection = quantity collected + quantity discarded in MSW

When the total number of equipment and spare batteries are considered, only 14% are eliminated and only 60% of those eliminated are made available for collection (less than 9% of total acquisitions approximately). The total flow of equipment and replacement batteries is presented schematically in Figure 13.

One half of the total quantity available for collection has been taken back to a collection point and the second half is discarded in MSW streams. Consequently, discarding in MSW is not the preferred method of elimination of spent batteries and equipment.

If a distinction is made between the management of the equipment and of the replacement battery, it is observed that only 5% of total equipment acquisitions are available for collection, while 38% of replacement batteries acquired are available for collection.

For equipment like dust busters (11.6%), shavers and toothbrushes (9.7%) the quantity available for collection is the highest. In the second place, toys (7.1%) and home cordless phones are found. The lowest rates of availability for collection are observed for portable audio (3.4%), mobile phones (1.1%), cordless power tools (2.3%) and camcorders (<1%).

Out of the fraction available for collection, the batteries are preferentially collected (65%) and the abandonment in MSW (35%) represents a minority of cases. The reverse is observed for the equipment where 68% are abandoned in MSW while 32% are collected.

No. of Acquisitions ^GK (100%)

Hoarding (91%)

Elimination (14%)

Available for Collection

Collection (1/2)

Discarding in MSW (1/2)

Figure 13. Schematic Representation of the Flow of Equipment and Replacement Battery Acquisitions

This ratio obviously applies to a low number of units for equipment but it demonstrates the necessity to inform and assist the consumer on this issue.

3.7. Collection Efficiency

The most appropriate concept to evaluate the success of spent batteries collection campaigns or programs is the collection efficiency that is based on measured data like the quantity of batteries present in waste (municipal solid and other industrial waste) and the quantity collected on a national basis from the various collection sources (national, private, etc).

The Collection Efficiency has been defined in the following way:

Collection Efficiency = Quantity Collected / Quantity Available for Collection where

Quantity Available for Collection = Quantity collected + Quantity discarded in MSW

In both cases, batteries and equipment, the ratio between the quantities discarded in the MSW and the quantities collected (taken back to a collection point) is approximately identical at the level of 51% and 49%, respectively (Figure 14).


a Discarding In Waste H □ Collection

Figure 14. Quantity Available for Collection : Ratios Between Collection and Discarding.

3.8. Annual Acquisition Rate

The annual acquisition rate is defined as the number of units acquired per year while the annual quantity available for collection is defined as the number of units that are available for collection per year.

For both equipment and replacement batteries, the annual acquisition rate (number of units acquired per year - purchased or received as second hand) is significantly higher than the annual quantity available for collection (number of units available for collection per year either as being taken back to a collection point or as being discarded in MSW). This is the consequence of the consumer behaviour with a reliable (long life)

equipment to which he is attributing a high value. It is also the result of a multi-equipment attitude.

This phenomenon is presented in Figures 15, 16 and 17 for cordless power tools, audiovideo equipment and mobile phones, respectively.

From these data, it is concluded that the annual quantity available for collection represents only a minor percentage of the acquisition rate. As both rates vary with the type of equipment, there is no direct relation between the quantities of batteries and equipment introduced into the market and the quantities that the consumer is ready to eliminate either by participating to a collection scheme or by discarding in the MSW stream.

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