Even though the collection of used portable batteries is rising in Slovakia, the capacities for their processing are still higher than the collected amount.
In 2021, ASEKOL SK, the largest producer responsibility organisation for portable batteries, managed to collect as many as 230 tonnes of used portable batteries. Used batteries are collected not only separately, but they are also present in discarded electrical equipment, which was also confirmed by an analysis of electronic waste from special collection containers that the company carried out in October 2021. According to the executive officer of ASEKOL SK, Ronald Blaho, many people do not realize that they throw out electronic equipment together with incorporated batteries. They should ideally be removed from electrical appliances; if we do not do that, the processor will do that for us on a sorting line. However, it is a much more serious problem if used batteries end up in mixed municipal waste.
“Recycling the materials contained in batteries helps minimize the negative impacts on the environment. The European Parliament is also paying more attention to this topic, making the collection targets as well as the requirements for the composition, performance and identification of batteries more stringent with the aim of achieving more sustainable management of batteries, which is of major importance with respect to the current state of the environment”, Blaho describes why correct management of used batteries is important.
Batteries represent hazardous waste that contains toxic substances such as mercury, cadmium or lead which may seriously affect both nature and human health if they leak into the environment. They may become such a threat if they appear in municipal waste where dangerous substances may be released from damaged batteries into the soil at the landfill. Thanks to recycling, the metals from which batteries are made may again be used for the production of new products. Recycling the used batteries also protects the environment against the extraction of scarce raw materials.
Even if the collection of portable batteries is rising in Slovakia each year, the capacities for processing the used batteries are still higher than the collected amount. Environmental projects may thus also support the collection and recycling of used batteries.
ASEKOL SK in cooperation with EMOS SK s.r.o., one of the largest distributors of portable batteries in Slovakia, operates an environmental project called Ecocheese that is focused on domestic collection of used batteries. Ecocheese is a box that serves for the collection of used batteries in households and helps support sorted waste collection. More and more people would like to be nature-friendly and behave in an environmentally-responsible manner. More than 500 households joined the project in 2021. Virtually everyone may collect used batteries comfortably. If you have no space at home where you may keep the used batteries, an Ecocheese box is an ideal choice. It is available in two sizes: one for households and one for administrative buildings. You may order an Ecocheese box free-of-charge on the project’s website and thus make a contribution to environmental protection.