Belgium is the European country which recycles the highest percentage of batteries. According to a Eurostat report, 71% of batteries in Belgium were collected and treated in 2016, which is much higher than the European average (44%).
Behind this fine result, stands the non-profit association Bebat which collects and recycles batteries and which has even improved on its record by collecting 3,481 tonnes of used batteries, a 26% increase compared with last year. This record number is explained by the success of Bebat’s education campaigns, such as that organised in schools with the Flemish band K3 offering the chance to win a private concert. Furthermore, the number of collection points has grown to 24,000 across the country, which is a larger geographical coverage than cash machines.
The distribution of collection bags and boxes to households has also facilitated the system. Partnerships with container parks have led to the collection of additional batteries. All collection channels lead to the factory in Tienen, where the batteries are broken down and the components sorted. The steel, cobalt and zinc can be reused in industry.
Since there is a “recovery obligation”, Bebat has also attached great importance to collecting the batteries from electric cars or bikes for the last five years. The objective for future years is to adapt to the additional flow of batteries and maintain the efficiency of the collection operation.