The Foundation for Environmental Management of batteries, ECOPILAS, was born in order to respond to the principle of joint responsibility of producers and marketers of batteries in the Spanish market on the management of waste products once arrived at the end of its useful life, in collaboration with other stakeholders.
Foundation was created under the initiatives developed over the past four years through the Committee on Asimelec (Asociación de Empresas Españolas Multisectorial Electronics and Communications). These years have been a major challenge and effort, a tangible experience of debate and consensus among rival firms in the market, combining positions and commitments beyond the interest and anticipation on a voluntary basis to plan actions that may be legally required of According to Article 7 of Law 10/98, Waste.
Foundation was formally established on October 17th, 2000. It is a non-profit organization with legal personality, under the Ministry of Environment through the exercise of the Protectorate.
The environmental protection is the end of general interest and it is designed for the design, organization and management of an integrated management system for household of batteries and used batteries (SIG).
This the founders of ECOPILAS responsible for placing on the market 75% of all batteries placed in circulation in Spain, constitute an active part in the optimization environmental and economic management of household used batteries, assuming the technical, financial and management lead to address this waste.
However to the success, GIS need to have the responsibility of other economic and social agents involved in the life cycle of cells: the distribution and consumers, represented on the Board of the Foundation and government responsible of waste management.
Foundation was planned of the year 2001 with the challenge and the goal of implementation of Integrated Management System and the definition of the foundations of their future development. This first year of activity will provide, without doubt, a major collaborative effort, participation, commitment and accountability among all stakeholders
Battery life begins in the industries of manufacturing enterprises. That batteries reach consumers need the cooperation of distributors (that carries them to the point of sale) and shops (which sell directly to users).
When the batteries reach the hands of consumers, they are used in various appliances: radios, toys, mobile phones, remote controls, watches, equipment for the deaf, scales, cameras, flashlights, etc.
When these batteries are spent, or end to be useful, it begins the pollution problem, as are mixed with other garbage or pollutants which are everywhere.
The role of the Foundation at this time is to facilitate the recycling of consumer batteries offering them a way out once they are no longer useful. The user places their batteries in appropriate containers with some confidence that they will be transported to treatment plants for recycling.
From the collection points for spent batteries, the Foundation is responsible for its transport to the sorting and treatment plants, where for one side they achieve the prevention of chemical in batteries contaminating and moreover, a return on the industry, in general, of few elements in nature.
The Foundation want to get GIS of any producer, importer, purchaser, Community agent or other person responsible for the marketing of batteries and household batteries, whose use will become waste.
For their adherence to Integrated Management System of used domestic batteries, companies should be selling batteries, or sell equipment containing batteries, filling in the membership contract and committing to meet the financial contribution to them depending on the type and units of batteries placed on the market.
The definition and adoption of financial contributions to help the companies to be attached, the terms for its implementation, and developing the system for calculating the amount to be contributed by each company according to the weight and category of products on the market, are one of the first actions to be addressed by the Foundation.
Were counted as point of departure with the economic analysis developed by the Commission Asimelec in previous studies to the Constitution of the Foundation. These calculations are based on the costs of different operations that could be financed by the GIS and the definition of categories-type of batteries that could be applied on the calculation model.
Identification and recruitment of companies to represent GIS during 2001 is another of the important activities undertaken by the Foundation. Actions will be deployed mailing and contact with companies that have been identified as a likely basis for accession to the system. Intensify efforts to identify imports and acquisitions.
In addition to the popular action and active recruitment of potential companies, they will develop an information pack, allowing the spread on a systematic follow to join the system and incorporate the standard, according to financial contributions the type of battery and system for calculating it.
The existence of a number of companies adhering to the system, representing a high percentage of domestic sales of batteries, will face negotiations with the regions to which reference is made in the preceding paragraph with a highly secure base.
We are all obliged to participate, as far as we can, in the recycling of batteries we consume, but we are also obliged to comply with the Waste Act says:
The Waste Act, Art. 7.1 provides that "Subject to the additional protective measures, if any, issued by the Autonomous Communities, producer, importer or purchaser intra-community agent or other person responsible for the marketing of products that use become waste may be required in accordance with the regulations approved by the Government to make payable directly to the management of waste products, or participate in an organized system for managing such waste, or contributing financially to public systems waste management, to an extent as to cover the costs attributable to the management of them "
According to Art. 8 of the Waste Act, "to meet some or all of the obligations under Article 1 of the previous article, responsible for the marketing of products with their use becoming Waste may organize management system through voluntary agreements approved or authorized by the competent, or through cooperation agreements with them.
Scientific definition of battery:
Electric batteries are used as source of energy from the chemical action of the electric battery.
Generally consist of electrolytic cells in which two metal plates of different power (cathode and anode) are separated by an ionic solution that is capable of conducting the electrons between the two plates.
These elements are contained in a container or metal or plastic container with dividers of the active elements such as paper or cardboard, construction aids such as lead or cadmium or mercury improve drawing limiting corrosion, in addition to elements of trade.
There are many types of batteries can be classified initially into two broad groups: primary batteries that have become depleted by the chemical energy into electricity, it is impossible to recover the state of charge. Or secondary batteries, in which the transformation of chemical energy to electricity is reversible, so you can recharge. Therefore the amount of waste generated is much lower.
Certain types of batteries, especially for industrial and automotive may, in turn, are a group of battery cells made by way of series.
Legal definition of battery:
The Waste Act, Article 3, defines: "wastes" as "any substance or residue belonging to one of the categories listed in Attachment of this Act, of which the holder discards or who intends or is required to discard.
In any case, this account will have shown in the European Inventory of lives (CER) approved by the Community Institutions. In this catalog are included in the category (160600), Batteries and Accumulators (01) lead batteries (02) Ni-Cd batteries (03) mercury dry batteries (04) Alkaline (05) Other batteries (06) electrolyte for batteries, and in the category (200,000) reside municipal and similar from trade, industry and institutions: (20) Batteries and accumulators.
The Waste Act, Article 3 distinguishes between two categories of "waste"
(i) Urban and municipal wastes "generated in the homes, shops, offices and services and those who do not qualify as dangerous and that by its nature or composition is similar to those produced in previous locations or activities. "
(Ii) Hazardous waste: "those on the list of hazardous wastes, approved in Royal Decree 952/1997, as well as containers and packaging that have content. Those who have been classified as dangerous by Community legislation and that the Government may approve in accordance with the provisions of European legislation or international conventions to which Spain is party. "
The list of hazardous waste Decree 952/1997 (which publishes the list approved by Decision 94/904/EC, of December 22) are included within the category (160,600) Batteries and accumulators; (01) lead-acid batteries (02) Ni-Cd batteries (03) dry batteries and mercury (06) electrolyte batteries and accumulators.
Viability of this program of collecting and recycling batteries is through the participation of each of the actors involved:
- Consumers are collaborating with the system by depositing their batteries used in containers for this purpose, thus avoiding ending in the domestic waste. Their collaboration is mandatory for the success of the program.
- Distributors provide the necessary space in their containers for batteries and warn the collection system when the containers are full. Their contribution is free of charge for the system.
- The Local Government provides waste collection system for the collection of containers of waste batteries, then deposit in larger containers to the Integrated Management system for subsequent transfer the separation plant and / or recycling. It provides the framework (regulatory and operational) needed to allow separate collection of batteries used in its territory and in accordance with the provisions of the Autonomous Community. It is forced to accept free of charge, the return of used batteries from end users and distributors. Also it has legislative power, to sanction those who do not fulfill their obligations.
- The central government authorizes the implementation of the system and ordered the participation of all actors to achieve the intended purposes. It participates in the Protectorate of the Foundation of the Integrated Management System in management functions.
- The Integrated System of Management is accountable to the public authorities responsible for the proper functioning of the system of collection and recycling of used batteries. The collection of spent batteries, since the storage and / or classification set by the government, to the treatment plants. It is also responsible for the treatment of such wastes.