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Rechargeable Battery Recycling Programme

Rechargeable Battery Recycling Programme
To enhance the public awareness in the recycling of rechargeable batteries, EPD has launched a Helpdesk with Hotline (5575 4068).  Service Hours: 8:30 am – 6:30 pm, Monday to Friday.  We operate the Hotline and help the public if they would like to recycle rechargeable batteries.  Property management / representatives of housing estates and buildings interested to participate in the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Programme are welcome to call the Hotline to enquire for more information and register.

 

Introduction

A lot of everyday products contain rechargeable batteries.  And while it helps the environment to re-use batteries, the benefits don't extend to disposal.
Rechargeable batteries contain materials that can be hazardous to people and the environment.  They also contain valuable materials that can be recovered for use in other products, such as magnetic alloy and stainless steel.  The best solution is to recover the batteries and recycle them.

Launched in April 2005, the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Programme (RBRP) is the first voluntary Producer Responsibility Scheme in Hong Kong.  It has been set up and funded by the industry to collect and recover three common types of rechargeable batteries from household, which are Li-ion, Ni-MH and Ni-Cd.

 

What to recycle

Rechargeable batteries can be found in many electrical and electronic products.  The Rechargeable Battery Recycling Programme accepts all types of portable rechargeable batteries generated from household for recycling.  Here is a list of some products that may contain dedicated rechargeable batteries:

Types of Batteries Recovered

Mobile Phones MP3/MD Players
Cordless Phones Portable CD/VCD/DVD Players
Digital Cameras Electronic Dictionaries
Video Cameras Shavers
Notebook Computers Electrical Toothbrush
Personal Digital Assistances Portable Vacuum Cleaners
Power Tools Electronic Game Sets
 

Batteries for other equipment not listed here are also suitable for recycling, provided they are portable rechargeable batteries. 

How to recycle

Return Rechargeable Batteries to the nearby Collection Points Recycling rechargeable batteries is FREE.  Here's what you need to do:
1. Remove the rechargeable battery from the equipment.
2. Cover the battery terminal with masking tape. This is a safety precaution to prevent contact between terminals or other metal surfaces during storage and transport. 
3.
Do not put damaged rechargeable batteries into the collection boxes. For batteries that are vulnerable to damage, put them in plastic bag (e.g. reuse the packaging of new batteries) and seal them with adhesive tape before deposit.
4.
Bring the battery to a Collection Point for recycling.
 
 
Where to recycle
 

1. Designated public collection points:

About 650 public collection points have been set up across Hong Kong in such places as MTR stations, electronic equipment shops and convenience stores. Anyone can drop their rechargeable batteries in the specially designed bins and boxes or hand to the counter staff.

Stainless Steel Collection Bin Stainless Steel Collection Bin Paper Collection Bin

 

List of Public Collection Points by region:

HK Island
Kowloon
 
 
 
New Territories
 
 
 

* Please note:

New measures at McDonald's restaurants with effect from 1 July 2016:

1. About 240 McDonald's restaurants serve as the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Programme's designated Public Collection Points;

2. Boxes for recycled rechargeable batteries have been re-located from the lobby area of McDonald’s restaurants to restaurant manager / crew room;

3. Public who intend to deposit rechargeable batteries in McDonald’s restaurants for recycling through the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Programme may approach the restaurant staff;

4. As in the past, collected rechargeable batteries will be delivered to McDonald’s head office for collection from time to time by the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Programme contractor;

5. For enquiry or assistance, please approach the restaurant staff or McDonald's Hong Kong Customer Relations Team:

Telephone: (852) 2880 7300

* Office Hours: Monday to Friday 9:00am-1:00pm; 2:00pm-5:30pm (Closed on Saturdays, Sundays & Public Holidays)

2. Participating estates and buildings:

About 1,800 housing estates, 890 commercial/industrial buildings and 260 schools provide collection services to their occupants.

List of Participating Estates / Buildings:

HK Island
Kowloon
 
 
 
New Territories
 
 
 
 

3. E-waste Collection Vehicle Service:

The EPD's e-waste collection vehicle collects rechargeable batteries, as well as electrical appliances, computers, compact fluorescent lamps and fluorescent tubes.  The vehicle visits a different district each week.

What happens to the deposited rechargeable batteries

The deposited batteries are collected on a periodic basis, sorted and treated preliminarily according to battery type, stored and exported for recycling.

Here's below the Flow Diagram to show Battery Recovery and Recycling

 

Flow Diagram of Battery Recovery and Recycling

Flow Diagram of Battery Recovery and Recycling

Flow Diagram of Battery Recovery and Recycling
Flow Diagram of Battery Recovery and Recycling
 
Flow Diagram of Battery Recovery and Recycling
Flow Diagram of Battery Recovery and Recycling
Flow Diagram of Battery Recovery and Recycling
Flow Diagram of Battery Recovery and Recycling
 

 

How rechargeable batteries are recycled

Rechargeable batteries contain materials of good value that can be recovered and re-used. For example, the Cobalt (Co) in Lithium Ion batteries can be used in magnetic alloy. Nickel (Ni) and Iron, from Nickel Metal Hydride and Nickel Cadmium batteries, can be used in stainless steel; the Cadmium (Cd) can be used to make new rechargeable batteries. It therefore makes good economic sense to recycle rechargeable batteries.

Co Oxalate
Ni-Ignot
Stainless steel plate
Cd-Ignot
Co Oxalate
Ni-Ingot
Stainless steel plate
Cd-Ingot

Another reason to recycle is that some materials in rechargeable batteries, such as cadmium, are also hazardous to human health and the environment. It's better to properly collect and recover these materials rather than risk them seeping into the environment.

 

The Recycling Process

Discharge
(For lithium ion battery scraps only,
to avoid potential hazard during the recycling process)

Flow Diagram for Recycling Rechargeable Batteries

image

Crush 1
(To break the plastic cases)

image

Sort Plastic and Battery
(To separate plastic materials from the batteries)

image

Crush 2
(To crack the surface of batteries for effective heating)

image

Melt
(In an electric vacuum furnace)

image

Final Product

image

Packing

 
 
 
Materials Recoverable from Battery Recycling
 
 
 
Rechargeable batteries contain metals like cobalt, nickel, cadmium and iron that can be recovered by recycling.
 
 
 
Recycled nickel and iron (from Ni-Cd and Ni-MH batteries) are used in stainless steel industry for production of many industrial and domestic products.
 
 
 
 
 
Materials Recoverable from Battery Recycling
 
 
Recycled cobalt (from Li-ion batteries) may be used for magnet alloy, ceramics and aircraft industry.
 
         
  Materials Recoverable from Battery Recycling   Materials Recoverable from Battery Recycling  
         
 
Recycled Cadmium (from Ni-Cd batteries) is used to make new rechargeable batteries
 
 
 
 
 
Recycled Cadmium is used to make new rechargeable batteries
 
 
 
 
 
 
How to Participate
 
 

Battery Waste Producers
At present, there are recycling facilities for rechargeable batteries in Japan and South Korea.  Battery waste producers should adopt the good practice instead of simply disposing of the used rechargeable batteries at landfills. Please contact EPD to obtain further information.

Battery Waste Producers
Estate

 

Housing Estate and Commercial/Industrial Building
A convenient collection point can make all the difference in recycling. If it's located near your home or workplace, it's a lot easier to participate. About 1,800 housing estates covering 70% of the population have set up collection points for their residents. About 890 commercial/industrial buildings have done the same (See list of participating estates and buildings). In both cases, the EPD provides cardboard collection boxes, publicity materials and detailed guidance information to participated housing estates and buildings.

Property management companies can sign up their premises in a few easy steps.
1. Read the online Guideline on how to organise a rechargeable battery recovery programme in housing estates and commercial/industrial buildings.
2. Complete an Application Form and return it to the Helpdesk.
3. Return the Recovered Batteries Record Form to the Helpdesk. This must be filed by the person responsible for the programme at each participating estate and building.
 
 
Manufacturers/Importers Manufacturers/Importers
 

Producers and importers of rechargeable batteries and electrical/electronic equipment have a responsibility to recycle post-consumer batteries.

An industry-wide recycling programme has been set up and manufacturers and importers are strongly urged to join. Currently, 25 companies/brand agents have signed up (see full list).

To join the programme, just complete the reply slip. The EPD will contact you with further details.

 
Schools
About 260 schools have joined the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Programme (see list).  It's easy to join.  Please read the Guideline on how to organise a rechargeable battery recovery programme at your school.  Complete the Application Form and fax it to the Helpdesk at 2784 6699.

EPD also developed a Rechargeable Battery Recycling Programme Education Kit, which includes a poster, CD-ROM game, two game boards and colour worksheets.  You can apply for the kit by completing the Application Form, or call 2594 6197.

 

Schools
Rechargeable Battery Recycling Programme Education Kit
 
Participating Companies and Organisations

The RBRP is currently supported and funded by 25 producers, importers and retailers of rechargeable batteries and electrical/electronic equipment.  EPD serves as the RBRP's Programme Advisor by providing advice and support to the Programme and promoting the RBRP to the public.  The Hong Kong Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Recycling Association is the programme manager.

Manufacturers and Importers
The following manufacturers and importers support and fund the programme.

Company Brand
Canon Hongkong Co., Ltd.* Canon
Dah Chong Hong (Motor Service Centre) Limited Dah Chong Hong Motor Service Centre
Dell Hong Kong Ltd. DELL
Epson Hong Kong Limited Epson
GPI International Ltd.* GP
Guang Yi Company Limited GYHK
Hewlett-Packard AP (Hong Kong) Ltd. HP, Compaq
Hilti (Hong Kong) Ltd. Hilti
Hitachi (Hong Kong) Ltd. Hitachi 
Inchcape Hong Kong* Lexus, Toyota
LG Electronics HK Ltd. LG
Makita Power Tools (HK) Ltd. Makita
Momax Technology (HK) Ltd. MOMAX
Motorola Solutions Asia Pacific Ltd. Motorola Solutions
NEC HK Ltd. NEC
Olympus Hong Kong & China Ltd. Olympus 
Philips Electronics Hong Kong Ltd. Philips
Procter & Gamble Hong Kong Ltd. Braun, Oral-B
Shun Hing Group* Panasonic, eneloop
Sony Corporation of Hong Kong Ltd.* Sony
Sony Mobile Communications International AB* Sony Mobile
The Dairy Farm Company Ltd. - IKEA Division IKEA
The Westwood The Westwood
 
* Operations Subcommittee members
 
Participating Companies and Organisations
 
Other Companies

The following companies also support the scheme, for example by providing collection points at their retail outlets and stations.

7-Eleven
AEON Stores (Hong Kong) Co., Ltd.
China Mobile Hong Kong
FORTRESS
Hong Kong and Kowloon Ferry
Inchcape HK Group
McDonald's
MTRC
Pricerite
The Boys' & Girls' Clubs Association of Hong Kong
Watsons the Personal Store
Wellcome
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Government Departments and Non-Government Organisation
Business Environmental Council
Environmental Association
Environmental Protection Department
Friends of the Earth
Green Power
World Green Organisation
   
 
 

 

Find out more about the RBRP
Useful Contacts
RBRP Enrolment Hotline: 5575 4068 (Helpdesk)
         email address: vprs_helpdesk@bec.org.hk
 
Downloads and Resources
1. Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) Download
2. Guideline  
  Guidance Notes - Participating Housing Estates/ Buildings Download
  Guidance Notes - Participating Schools Download
3. Application Form  
  Housing Estates/Buildings Download
  Schools Download
4. Recovered Batteries Record Form Download
5. Poster  
  Rechargeable Battery Version Download
6. Loan Out Service of Education Materials
  Education Kit
  - Loan Form Download
  - Content of Education Kit Download
 
For comparison on primary and rechargeable batteries, please click here.