Sunday, 28 July 2013

Battery recycling - could anyone give a ****?

Here in the UK at least, we're always being told not to put used batteries into the bin, because then they will be sent to landfill and pollute the environment. Because of this, I've been collecting mine. I used to take them to our local Asda supermarket - just down the road - where the recycling bin was conveniently in the entrance, until it disappeared about a year ago. I've asked about it there a couple of times: the first time I was told it had gone off to be emptied and not come back; the second time I was told it might have been stolen. This week I tried Tesco, where no bin was visible and the Customer Service desk could not tell me whether there was one, asking me to ring back in a few days' time. I also tried Home Bargains, Superdrug, Argos and Poundland. None of them had any visible recycling bin. Poundland even had a sign saying "Recycle your batteries here" - but no bin and no-one to ask about it. Finally I went into Boots. Again, no bin, but a member of staff was happy to take my batteries from me.

Does anyone from these organisations realise that any retailer who sells more than a handful of batteries in a week has a statutory requirement to recycle them? I'm certain that most people will not traipse around various shops as I did, trying to find their battery recycling facilities. They will just throw them in the bin - which is a minor scandal and, to say the least, frustrating. If retailers want us to think they have the slightest interest in green issues, then they need to promote recycling actively, and make sure staff maintain their facilities to recycle.