Campaign for the Recycling of Waste Dry Cell Batteries in Taiwan(廢乾電池回收宣導工作)
Along with the development of electronic instruments and consumer electronics, dry cell batteries have been widely used in toys, flashlights, electronic clocks, walkmans, and other electronic devices and this has contributed to an increasing demand for batteries. According to different manufacturing principles, technologies, and demands, there are currently a great variety of dry cell batteries available in the market. Some batteries contain elements that are harmful to the environment, such as mercury. If they are not properly recycled and handled, they will be released into the environment causing the contamination of living organisms, and the pollution of the environment. The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) began the recycling of waste dry cell batteries, including mercury and nickel cadmium ones in July 1988. Since November 1999, the items of recycling waste dry cell batteries now also include: manganese-zinc batteries, alkaline manganese batteries, button cell and primary lithium batteries, silver oxide cell batteries, zinc air batteries, and reusable, rechargeable cell batteries, such as: manganese-zinc batteries, nickel-metal hydride batteries, and rechargeable lithium batteries. Statistics from 2003 to 2006 indicate an annual recycling volume growth from 1,017 tonnes, 1,364 tonnes, 2,177 tonnes, to the significant 4,289 tonnes, respectively, owing to the success of the campaign for waste dry cell battery recycling. To properly recycle waste dry cell batteries, to facilitate the front and end channels of recycling, and to encourage public participation in recycling, the EPA worked with responsible enterprises of dry cell batteries to plan a common distribution and management system of waste dry cell battery recycling. On January 12, 2007, the EPA conducted the "Seminar on Participation of the Recycling System by the Responsible Enterprises and businessmen of Dry Cell Batteries" to provide further explanations. Under the existing recycling system, the responsible enterprises only bear the financial responsibility, and do not participate directly in the operation of the recycling system. Due to the prevalence of the extensive production responsibilities (EPR) concept in Taiwan, a relevant system should be amended in the future for more effective implementation and joint participation of the enterprises in the recycling system.
The Seminar on the Participation of the Recycling System by Responsible Enterprises and Businessmen of Dry Cell Batteries Industry
In addition, to enhance the basis of the recycling campaign, the EPA has long cooperated with every local implementing agency to instruct or coordinate with each school level to recycle waste dry cell batteries. and the EPA continued conducting recycling seminars for the local agencies (city and county environmental protection bureaus as well as township and village offices). Model agencies with high achievements have also been invited to share their recycling operation experiences and results in the campaign. They serve as a model for the recycling work of other city and county environmental protection bureaus and local units as well as reference for future recycling and promotion campaigns on campus regarding waste dry cell batteries, for local implementing agencies.
The Seminar on Waste Dry Cell Battery Recycling Campaign-Southern Taiwan
The Seminar on Waste Dry Cell Battery Recycling Campaign-Northern Taiwan
The future direction of the EPA's recycling work on waste dry cell batteries is as follows:
A. Training teachers to coordinate with the campaign for recycling waste dry cell batteries
The environmental protection bureau in each county and city shall select personnel from the model agencies as teachers to promote the recycling campaign in other township and village offices. Due to the similar backgrounds in the same city and county, this campaign shall immediately be integrated in the life of local residents to improve the effectiveness of the waste dry cell battery recycling.
B. Conducting regular local experience sharing workshop
In the future, regular local campaigns will be continuously carried out and through the experience of sharing and learning, the relevant institutions will be able to apply other's experience to their own campaign work. It is expected that campaign activities will be continuously implemented in innovative ways.
C. Posting campaign materials online
The EPA has posted campaign material or PPT files of agencies with better achievements, on the public information website. The relevant agencies now can make use of convenient and quick Internet access to log on real-time search services.
D. Continuous subsidies and evaluation
In order to enhance the results of dry cell battery recycling, the EPA evaluates the feasibility and provides subsidies to encourage local government agencies to hold their own recycling activities and ensure the work responsibility of each local implementing agency.
E. Advising battery distributors to assist with the participation of minority groups in recycling work
The implementing agencies of waste dry cell battery recycling (city and county environmental protection bureaus as well as township and village offices) shall facilitate the alliance of battery distributors and the minority groups within their jurisdiction to jointly participate in the recycling program. Staff from among the battery sellers can be dispatched to train the minority groups on the promotion of the waste dry cell battery recycling. This will help the battery industry improve its industrial image, while simultaneously improving the public's acceptability of recycling waste dry cell batteries.