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Figure 26. Collection of Portable Rechargeable Ni-Cd Batteries in Germany (Source: CollectNiCad)

1. For portable rechargeable batteries that are incorporated in pieces of equipment, the consumer is not willing to separate the rechargeable battery from the equipment. If this equipment has a potential life of more than ten years on the market, the amount of spent batteries collected will be very low.

2. The financing of such a dedicated collection is addressed to less than ten percent of the portable battery market.

3. As consumers' demand is in favour of the collection of any type of battery regardless of its chemical nature, the volume of collected rechargeable batteries is equivalent to that of primary batteries.

5.3.2. The Collection of Portable Rechargeable Batteries Via a General Collection Scheme

To illustrate the impact of the collection of spent batteries of all types on the

Figure 26. Collection of Portable Rechargeable Ni-Cd Batteries in Germany (Source: CollectNiCad)

efficiency of the collection of portable rechargeable batteries, the example of Germany is very illustrative.

General collection schemes for all types of portable batteries (primary and rechargeable) from which rechargeable batteries like Ni-Cd batteries are sorted out in a specific stream has been initiated in several european countries. The impact of the startup of such a program as a follow-up of a dedicated scheme is illustrated in Figure 26 for the case of Germany.

As a follow-up of the Z. V.E.I, collection scheme, a nation-wide collection organization (Gesammt Rilchgewinnung System, GRS) was established in 1998 for the collection of all types of batteries.

When a general collection scheme is operated, Ni-Cd batteries are sorted-out from other zinc and lithium batteries either manually or automatically (Euro Bat Tri 2000). The collection efficiency of portable rechargeable batteries is immediately increased when such a general collection scheme is implemented. Indeed, such an approach responds to consumer's requirements for a single message on the take back of all batteries.

A comparison of the efficiency of collection of portable rechargeable Ni-Cd batteries in various EU countries is supplied in Figure 27. The information is presented with normalised data: grams of collected batteries per inhabitant per year. This way to present the results was first introduced by SNAM (SNAM-Linck 1998) and allows to compare the efficiency of collection programs in each individual european country.

In Europe, during the most recent years, approximately 13,000 tonnes of portable Ni-Cd batteries were introduced annually into a market of 380,000,000 people: this corresponds to 5.0 grams per inhabitant per year. The collection is unevenly distributed among european countries as a result of the absence of collection programs in some of them.

5.3.3. The Collection of Rechargeable Batteries Incorporated in Portable Electrical and Electronic Equipment

In 1999, in France, the Société de Collecte et de Recyclage des Accumulateurs (SCRA) was founded with the objective to collect all types of portable rechargeable batteries. This program was rapidly extended to the collection of equipment in which batteries are incorporated. In 2000, the articles of association of the company were adapted to include membership form major OEMs and retailers and the re-naming of the company as the Société de Collecte et de Recyclage du Matériel Electrique (SCRELEC) did occur.

The general principle of operation of the company is based on the responsibility of the importers/manufacturers/dealers to support the financial cost for collection, de-manufacturing, sorting and recycling. This responsibility is covered by two trench laws, the Decrees of 12 May 1999 (99/374) and 29 December 1999 (99/1171).

SCRELEC operates on the basis of full transparency regarding the financial commitments of members and costs of the various operations controlled by this private collection company: collection, logistics, sorting, recycling, resale of materials. This is schematically presented in Figure 27.

All operations managed by SCRELEC are financed by the contribution of members according to their sales and by the re-sale of secondary raw materials obtained from the recycling operations. As SCRELEC is a non-profit organisation, the fee is adapted to current accounting balance.

Members of SCRELEC are batteries manufacturers and importers, OEM (original equipment manufacturers) companies, national companies and importers as well as private label distributors.

SCRELEC has the duty to keep record of all types of primary and rechargeable batteries introduced into the french market and offers to authority a consolidated data base according to the technology and the application.

Members have the duty to declare their annual sales according to the weight of batteries introduced into the market. A quarterly payment is organised and a legal statement made by SCRELEC certifies the active participation of each individual member to the program.

Beyond the administrative and financial responsibility, SCRELEC acts as a control agency for the various operations related to the collection and recycling of spent batteries and also for the de-manufacturing of electrical and electronic equipment and the appropriate management of each type of component in recycling, re-use and/or discarding operations.

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