Where can I return my used batteries and accumulators?
You can return all batteries and small accumulators free of charge and without an obligation to purchase new ones to any store that sells them. In other words, take them where you bought them.
You can recycle larger batteries, such as those found in electric bicycles or self-balancing scooters, through their importer. You can find recycling points for automotive batteries here: www.kierrätys.info
What kind of accumulators can I recycle at stores?
The collection points operating at stores accept all hand-carried and sealed accumulators such as those used in electronics, handheld power tools, toys and small household appliances. The collection points do not accept accumulators used in electric means of transportation, such as electric bicycles and self-balancing scooters. You can find recycling points for automotive batteries here: kierrätys.info
Various batteries and small accumulators.
How should I pack my batteries and accumulators for recycling?
In order to avoid a fire hazard, the terminals of all batteries and accumulators containing a residual charge, especially lithium batteries and accumulators, must be taped over as soon as they are removed from their device or discarded. You can recognise lithium batteries and accumulators by their “Li-” marking.
Be sure to keep all batteries and accumulators out of the reach of children and pets. Especially small button cell batteries may cause a choking hazard or an injury if swallowed!
Why do I have to tape over the battery terminals?
Discarded batteries and accumulators usually have a residual electric charge in them. When they come in contact with one another, they may short-circuit and even cause a fire. The risk of fire is easy to minimise by covering the terminals of all batteries and accumulators with adhesive tape as soon as they are removed from their device. Lithium batteries and accumulators are especially prone to reacting to other batteries and metal objects, which is why you should tape the terminals of all batteries and accumulators.
What kind of tape do I need to tape the battery terminals?
Ordinary tape or masking tape is sufficient to tape the batteries and accumulators. The best tape is one that stays well in place. The main thing is that the battery terminals are covered and do not come into contact with each other. Alternatively, the batteries and accumulators can be individually wrapped in plastic wrap, for example, or individually placed in small plastic bags.
A battery is leaking. What should I do?
Pack all leaking batteries and accumulators in a plastic bag. If your skin has come into contact with the leaking fluid, rinse it with plenty of water in order to prevent skin irritation.
I can’t find a collection point at the store. What should I do?
Ask the store personnel for help. Some stores are unable to place the collection box safely in the customer area, whereby the store accepts batteries and accumulators at the cash register, for example.
Why can’t I dispose of batteries and small accumulators with mixed waste?
When placed in mixed waste, batteries and accumulators cause a fire hazard. Furthermore, the raw materials contained in them are not recycled when placed in mixed waste. When taken to collection points, approximately half of the raw materials contained in batteries and accumulators can be recycled as materials. Additionally, the incineration processes of waste processing plants are not designed for waste containing metal.
My workplace consumes plenty of batteries. Where should I deliver them?
You can return small amounts at the collection points run by stores. If necessary, you can order a delivery box for larger amounts here. Very large amounts (more than 700 kg a year) have their own transport equipment, please contact info(a)recser.fi for more information.
What happens to the batteries and accumulators taken to collection points?
All batteries and accumulators taken to collection points are transported to the Akkuser Oy processing plant in Nivala. At the plant, they are first sorted into different fractions, as different battery and accumulator types require different kinds of processing. From the Akkuser plant, the different fractions or materials are transported to the company’s co-operation partners. For example, lithium-ion batteries used in mobile phones and laptops are crushed at the Akkuser plant, after which the materials contained in them can be separated mechanically. One of the raw materials contained in lithium batteries is cobalt, which is refined from the raw material into pure cobalt at the Freeport Cobalt plant in Kokkola. In total, more than 50% of the raw materials contained in batteries and accumulators can be reused. Read more about battery and accumulator recycling here.
I can’t remove the battery from the device. Can I return the entire device and where?
You can return the device and its battery to a waste electric and electronic equipment (WEEE) collection point, more information at www.serkierratys.fi/en. The battery is removed from the device at a WEEE pre-processing plant, from where it is delivered to battery and accumulator processing.
I sell batteries and accumulators. Am I obligated to accept used batteries and accumulators at my sales outlet?
Yes, the Waste Act stipulates that every sales outlet that sells batteries and accumulators must accept used batteries and accumulators from end users free of charge and without an obligation to buy new products.
Where should I place the battery and accumulator collection point?
Place the battery collection receptacle in a monitored, dry and room-temperature place near suitable fire extinguishing equipment and a fire and/or smoke alarm system.
What kind of safety aspects should the collection point take into account?
In addition to placing the collection receptacle properly, remember the following instructions:
Place the returning instructions in a visible spot and make sure that they can be followed.
Place a roll of adhesive tape next to the collection receptacle for taping over the terminals of batteries and accumulators.
Check the receptacle regularly to make sure that it does not contain any unacceptable items or trash and that the terminals of lithium batteries and accumulators in particular have been taped over in order to prevent short-circuiting.
I would like to have more information or materials to support battery recycling. What should I do?
You can find ready-made instruction materials for both the collection point staff and returners here. We are also happy to receive any development suggestions regarding the materials or other questions at info(a)recser.fi.
Does returnable batteries and accumulators have to fit in the transport box gap?
The size of the transport box gap is designed so that batteries and accumulators of approximately the correct size can fit inside the gap. Slightly larger batteries can also be placed in a transport box, but lithium batteries weighing more than 0.5 kg require more durable transport packaging.
Many tool accumulators today are lithium accumulators which, can even ignite themselves as a result of the so-called thermal runaway effect. Exposed to thermal runaway are for example physical damage and external short circuits.
The risk of fire is related to the high energy density of lithium-ion accumulators and the flammable electrolyte. Also, the accumulators never run out completely, but energy is still left in the accumulator, even if the accumulator is seemingly empty or inoperative. Lithium accumulators over 0.5 kg should therefore be transported in Recser Oy’s red VAK-approved barrels.
Why does the pick-up take place within seven weekdays of the order being placed?
The reason for the seven-weekday response time is to minimise the environmental impacts. In order to reduce the environmental impacts of the transport of batteries and accumulators, we optimise the routes and make use of joint pick-ups or return logistics. The smaller the carbon footprint of the collection, the larger the positive carbon handprint of the recycling of battery and accumulator materials.
Is there an “age limit” at which the transport box should already be sent forward?
Yes there is. We recommend that you do not store the transport box for more than a year. Alkaline batteries in particular start to leak as they age, and storage for too long will not do any good for other batteries.
If only small amounts of batteries and accumulators accumulate, the box can also be emptied at the nearest larger collection point. You can find the nearest collection point here.
I have a couple of plastic buckets full of used batteries and accumulators at my store. How can I deliver them forward for recycling?
Batteries and accumulators are subject to legislation regarding the transport of hazardous materials and can therefore only be transported in transport packages that meet the legal requirements and feature the necessary labelling. You can order transport boxes free of charge, as well as pick-ups for them, from Recser Oy. See more information here.
Why should all batteries and accumulators be properly packaged and in the appropriate shipping containers?
This is because batteries and accumulators are classified as hazardous waste. During the transport, hazardous waste must be marked separately and packed correctly. Recser Oy’s transport boxes and barrels meet the requirements of VAK legislation in terms of their properties and markings.
Do collection points have to pay a fee for transport boxes or their pick-up?
Batteries and accumulators are subject to producer responsibility legislation, meaning that their importer takes care of the pick-ups of batteries and accumulators collected by distributors and other locations at its own expense. We also do not charge a fee for any transport boxes delivered for packaging.
In practice, the producer transfers the costs of arranging the waste management in the price of the battery or accumulator all the way to the end user. The end user has the right to return a used product conveniently and free of charge to an organised collection point.
Is it possible to buy a metal rack for the transport box?
Yes it is. A metal rack under the transport box is a good purchase for a collection point. One such option you can find on our website.
Can I order empty transport boxes more than returnable ones?
Yes. You can order a larger number of empty boxes to be delivered during a pick-up than the number of full boxes being picked up. Remember to tell the customer service representative about your wish to have a larger number of replacement boxes delivered if you place the order over the phone.
What should I do, if delivery or pick-up of the transport box is really slow or never arrives?
If a transport box or pick-up service you have ordered does not arrive within approximately a week of the order being placed, please contact us as soon as possible at kuljetukset(a)recser.fi so that we can resolve the issue.
Do I need to make sure all returned batteries and accumulators are taped?
All recyclable batteries and accumulators should be checked, but we understand that this is practically impossible. We therefore urge you to inform customers about the importance of taping batteries and accumulators and to offer the possibility of taping the batteries at the collection point.
However, even in a plastic bag, it is better to return the batteries and the accumulators than without any protection. The plastic bag also protects with a slightly large amount of batteries and accumulators, so that the possibility of a short circuit is reduced.
We do not recommend returning batteries and accumulators in a glass container. At the sorting point, a glass container can pose a danger to the worker when the batteries and accumulators are poured into the sorting and the worker is not aware of the glass among the batteries and accumulators.
As an exception to this, small hearing aid batteries may be returned in their sales packaging in a collection container, as the design of the packaging itself prevents the batteries from coming into contact with each other.
What does producer responsibility mean?
What does producer responsibility mean?
Producer responsibility refers to companies’ obligation to arrange the waste management of products they have placed on the market at their own expense when the products are discarded. However, arranging the waste management or collection of their own products is not enough, as the producers of batteries and accumulators must take part in picking up batteries and accumulators collected by distributors everywhere in Finland. All producers are also entered either through a producer organisation or directly into an authority register.
What product groups does the producer responsibility pertain to?
The producer responsibility pertains to packages, paper, tyres, vehicles, batteries and accumulators as well as electric devices. The importers and manufacturers of these products bear the producer responsibility for them. As for packages, the packers and importers of packaged products bear the producer responsibility. See more information about carrying out industry-specific producer responsibilities here: ely-keskus.fi
What are portable batteries and accumulators?
In legislation, portable batteries and accumulators refer to all batteries and small accumulators that are sealed and can be carried by hand and are not industrial or automotive batteries or accumulators. They are typically used in devices such as watches, toys, flashlights, portable media players, mobile phones, cameras, computers and electric power tools such as drills. The classification is based on the primary intended purpose of the battery or accumulator more than its size. For example, the batteries used in electric bicycles or other electric means of transport are classified as industrial batteries even though they are not always very large.
Various batteries and small accumulators.
What are industrial batteries and accumulators?
Industrial batteries and accumulators refer to batteries and accumulators designed exclusively for industrial or professional use or used in electric means of transportation. These include batteries and accumulators designed for devices such as solar panels, professional measuring instruments, emergency and back-up power sources, electric bicycles, self-balancing scooters, payment terminals, trains and aircraft. See more information and register as a producer here.
Does the producer responsibility also pertain to batteries and accumulators placed on the market inside devices?
Yes, to batteries and accumulators placed on the market inside both vehicles and electric or electronic devices.
Does the producer responsibility also pertain to corporate products?
Yes. The sales channel of batteries and accumulators does not matter, meaning that the producer responsibility pertains to all batteries and accumulators.
How do I know whether the producer responsibility for batteries and accumulators pertains to my company?
For batteries and accumulators, the producer responsibility falls on a natural or legal person who regardless of the method of sales professionally places batteries or accumulators on the Finnish market for the first time or distance sells batteries or accumulators directly to users in Finland, including batteries and accumulators contained in electric and electronic devices or vehicles. (Waste Act, Section 48).
My company is planning to begin importing batteries and accumulators. How can we take care of our producer responsibility?
Producers of batteries and accumulators can easily take care of the registering process and other producer responsibility obligations through Recser Oy, the producer organisation running Battery Recycling, established by battery and accumulator producers and approved as a producer organisation for batteries and accumulators. Read more about transferring the producer responsibility here.
What is a producer organisation?
The Waste Act stipulates that producers of a certain industry can establish a producer organisation to take care of their producer responsibility obligations. Once the producer responsibility has been transferred to the producer organisation, the producer only has to tell its customers that it has taken care of its producer obligations in a responsible manner and provide the producer organisation with information regarding the amounts of products placed on the market in accordance with an agreed upon schedule. The producer must also make sure that the batteries and accumulators placed on the market feature the required labelling and come with instructions for detaching them.
What fees does transferring the producer responsibility to a producer organisation entail?
Upon registration, every producer is charged a one-off registration fee, in addition to which they must pay recycling fees determined by the amounts of products they place on the market. The recycling fees vary in accordance with the recyclability of the batteries or accumulators. You can receive a valid recycling fee price list by contacting Recser Oy by e-mail at info(a)recser.fi or by telephone at +358 10 249 1717.
The more producers take part in sharing the costs, the lower the fees. It is therefore important that no producer leaves its waste management costs for the others to pay.
Why should I transfer my producer responsibility to a producer organisation?
In practice, arranging the waste management of batteries and accumulators means arranging their pick-up from all store locations that sell batteries and accumulators, as well as other collection points in Finland, and their processing thereafter, the goal of which is to recycle the materials. In practice, the easiest way to take care of producer responsibility matters is to join a producer organisation that sees that all producer obligations are fulfilled everywhere in Finland.
Once your producer responsibility has been transferred to Recser Oy, which runs Battery Recycling, we will notify the authorities on your behalf and take care of arranging your waste management and recycling. All your company has to do is tell its customers that it has taken care of its producer obligations in a responsible manner and provide Recser Oy with information regarding the amounts of products placed on the market in accordance with an agreed upon schedule.
My company is a member of a producer organisation for electric and electronic devices. Does it have to carry out its battery and accumulator producer responsibility separately?
Yes, the producer responsibilities pertaining to batteries and accumulators and those pertaining to electric and electronic devices are entirely separate, and the responsibility for batteries and accumulators cannot be carried out through a producer organisation for electric and electronic devices. Devices placed on the market are reported without the weight of their batteries or accumulators and the batteries and accumulators are reported separately to Recser Oy.
I sell batteries and accumulators to Europe from Finland. Does the membership of a Finnish producer organisation cover the producer responsibility throughout the EU?
The membership of a Finnish producer organisation only covers producer responsibility in Finland. If your company places batteries and accumulators to the markets of other EU countries, it must become a member of the producer organisation of each country. The battery and accumulator producer organisations of other EU countries can be found on the Eucobat website: https://www.eucobat.eu.
What are the consequences of neglecting the producer responsibility?
If a company neglects its producer responsibilities, the authorities can impose a non-conformity fee that is determined by the company’s turnover, up to €500,000. The Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre) of Pirkanmaa acts as the national authority, except in Åland. You can find more information at ely-keskus.fi
Where can I check whether a company has carried out its producer responsibility?
What should I do if I believe that a company has neglected its producer responsibility?
You can submit a tip to Recser Oy at info(a)recser.fi or +358 (0)10 249 1717 or directly to the supervisory authority at tuottajavastuu(a)ely-keskus.fi or +358 (0)295 020 900. You can also anonymously notify the supervisory authority using a form on their website.
Large industrial batteries and accumulators
What are large industrial batteries and accumulators?
A large industrial battery or accumulator refers to an industrial battery or accumulator designed exclusively for industrial or professional use, within the meaning of the Government Decree on Batteries and Accumulators (Battery Decree 520/2014, section 2(1)(7)), the size of which does not allow for easy manual carrying.
In this context, large industrial batteries and accumulators do not refer to the accumulators of electric vehicles, such as electric and hybrid cars or electric motorcycles, in which the accumulator is integrated into the device and not intended for the end user to remove at any point.
Examples of large industrial batteries and accumulators include, but are not limited to batteries and accumulators used for emergency or back-up power in hospitals, airports or offices, batteries and accumulators used in trains and aircraft, forklift batteries and batteries and accumulators used on oil rigs at sea and in lighthouses.
Examples of batteries designed exclusively for industrial and professional use are the batteries used in fork lifts.
What does producer responsibility mean in regard to large industrial accumulators?
Producers, i.e. importers and manufacturers, of batteries and accumulators are obligated to arrange the waste management of their products at their own expense when the products are discarded. As regards large industrial accumulators, arranging waste management means arranging their reception and subsequent processing, the aim of which is to recycle the material. Each producer must also submit their information to the register of producers and report all the batteries and accumulators that they place on the market and all batteries and accumulators that they receive and recycle, either via a producer organisation or directly. End users must also be provided with information on e.g. collection points and the environmental and health impacts of the substances contained in batteries and accumulators. Producer responsibility is governed by the Waste Act (646/2011) and the Government Decree on Batteries and Accumulators (520/2014) based on Directive 2006/66/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council.
How can I take care of my producer responsibility for large industrial batteries and accumulators?
You can take care of your producer responsibility for large industrial batteries and accumulators in terms of registration and reporting through Recser Oy by transferring producer responsibility to it with an agreement. The registration form is available here.
The producer is responsible for organising the reception of large industrial batteries and accumulators and other waste management. Recser Oy is currently negotiating with waste management service providers on a reception model that would allow producers to easily recycle large industrial batteries and accumulators in accordance with legislative requirements. We will be providing more information to our producers once the model is finalised.
Alternatively, producers of large industrial batteries and accumulators can take care of producer responsibility entirely by themselves and submit an application directly to a register of producers maintained by the supervisory authority. In this case, the producer must report all batteries and accumulators that they place on the market and all batteries and accumulators that they recycle with their chosen waste management service provider directly to the authorities along with their other monitoring data. More information is available here.
What costs does taking care of the producer responsibility cause to producers of large industrial batteries and accumulators?
Producers of large industrial batteries and accumulators that make a producer responsibility transfer agreement with Recser Oy pay a one-off registration fee to cover expenses upon registration. Additionally, Recser Oy charges an annual fee for compiling annual reporting information for the authorities to cover administrative expenses. The producer pays the accumulator recycling costs directly to its chosen waste management operator as accumulators are returned for recycling. The Waste Act allows for the producer to agree on dividing the waste management costs for large industrial batteries and accumulators with the last holder of the accumulator (Waste Act 646/2011, section 53).
How do producers of large industrial accumulators benefit from registering with the producer organisation?
Producers that have made a producer responsibility transfer agreement with Recser Oy can report all batteries and accumulators of different classes placed on the market at the same time in their quarterly reporting. Recser Oy also collects information about large industrial accumulators received and recycled by the producer directly from producers and agreement operators and submits the information to the authorities on an annual basis. When taking care of its producer responsibility through Recser Oy, the producer does not need to separately register with or report to the producer register administrated by the responsible authority. This is especially convenient for producers who place batteries and accumulators belonging to different classes onto the market.
What requirements have been set for recycling large industrial batteries and accumulators?
When processing and recycling discarded batteries and accumulators, the priority order set in section 8 of the Waste Act (646/2011) must be followed as strictly as possible. The storage, recycling and other processing of separately collected discarded batteries and accumulators must also be organised in accordance with the general requirements set in section 9 of the Government Decree on Batteries and Accumulators (520/2014). The Decree stipulates, among other things, that the best available techniques must be used, and that it must be ensured that the recycling efficiency requirements set in section 10 are met. Section 11 of the Decree separately prohibits the depositing of industrial batteries and accumulators in landfills and their disposal by incineration. According to section 9 of the Decree, the remains of recycled or otherwise processed discarded batteries and accumulators can, however, be disposed of by incineration or deposited in a landfill, provided that the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act (86/2000) and the Waste Act on waste incineration and the depositing of waste in landfills are followed.
Additionally, the producer must note that discarded batteries may only be returned to authorised businesses (ymparisto.fi, the text is written in Finnish), and that if discarded accumulators are to be delivered abroad, an international waste transfer permit granted by Finnish Environment Institute is required (ely-keskus.fi, the text is written in English).