The Environment Agency has issued details of the first Battery Compliance Schemes (BCSs) which will collect batteries from c-stores from February under new regulations.

From February 1, stores which sell more than 32kg of household batteries a year will have to provide an in-store take-back facility for any member of the public who has batteries to dispose of. This weight limit is equivalent to around one pack of AA batteries sold per day.

BCS operators will offer free collection to any distributor over the weight limit. They will also help retailers provide containers for collection and publicity materials, and take responsibility for publicity campaigns to raise awareness of the need to recycle batteries.

Stores which sell less than the minimum amount do not have to provide collection points and do not qualify for free collection.

The Environment Agency recommends that retailers talk to a BCS before beginning to collect waste batteries. Retailers who are unsure whether they meet the minimum sales limit should contact their local BCS. The list is online at www.environment-agency.gov.uk.

A publicity toolkit will be available from the end of this month at www.defra.gov.uk/environment/waste/producer/batteries.

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