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Waste management

Special categories of waste

Waste batteries and accumulators

The battery or accumulator means any source of electrical energy generated by direct conversion of chemical energy and consisting of one or more primary battery cells (non-rechargeable) or consisting of one or more secondary battery cells (rechargeable).

Batteries (accumulators) contain heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, and are consequently often very toxic, so they command a specific method of recycling.

The majority of waste batteries (accumulators) are classified as hazardous waste.

Hazardous waste comprises lead batteries, nickel-cadmium catteries, batteries containing mercury, and separately collected electrolytes from batteries and accumulators.

The main advantage of recycling batteries is a reduction in the primary production of materials and energy generating products, and the emissions of mercury, lead, and cadmium in the environment.

Collection

Worn out batteries and accumulators do not belong to municipal waste. It is legally prescribed to discard waste batteries (accumulators) into containers, either to the outlet where the goods were purchased, or at the collection point.

Waste batteries and accumulators must be collected separately according to the types and into specially marked containers:

  • Waste starters
  • Waste portable batteries and accumulators

The dealers will then hand over the collected waste batteries and/or accumulators to the collector or directly to the recovery operator (recycler) that shall take them over and issue the relevant receipt within a period of 24 hours from the call.

The collector shall hand over the waste batteries and accumulators to the person licensed for treatment and/or recycling, or export them at own cost based on the special licence issued by the Croatian Ministry of Environment.

Recovery

The recovery operator or recycler shall take the collected batteries and accumulators from the collector free of charge and they shall certify the consignment note upon the acceptance.

The recovery operator is a legal or natural person holding a licence to perform the activity of treatment and recycling of waste batteries and accumulators, he is a concession holder and has concluded a contract with the Fund.

Detailed requirements with regard to the treatment and recycling:

TREATMENT

Treatment should include at least the removal of all liquids and acids.

Treatment and any type of storage, including temporary storage in the treatment facilities should take place on locations with impermeable surfaces and adequate watertight cover, or in adequate containers.

RECYCLING

Recycling processes should achieve the following minimum recycling efficiency:

  1. recycling 65% of the average mass of lead-acid batteries and accumulators, including recycling the content of lead to the greatest extent possible and avoiding excessive costs;
  2. recycling 75% of the average mass of nickel-cadmium batteries and accumulators, including recycling the content of cadmium to the greatest extent possible and avoiding excessive costs; and
  3. recycling 50% of the average mass of other waste batteries and accumulators.

Goals

Setting up the system of collection, treatment, and a high level of recycling and controlled recovery and/or disposal of the residues after the treatment and recycling of waste batteries and accumulators, regardless of their form, volume, mass, and materials they are made from.

Proper recycling of batteries and accumulators allows for the waste materials and metals such as mercury, cadmium, and lead, to be removed from municipal waste thus obtaining valuable raw materials that will be reused in further processing.

Pursuant to the Ordinance, until 26 September 2012 the minimum rate of collection of waste portable batteries and accumulators to be achieved was 25%, and until 26 September 2016 the minimum rate of collection of 45%.

Fees and charges

The fees for the management of waste portable batteries and accumulators are paid by importers and/or producers of portable batteries and accumulator when placing them on the market.

The fee paid to EPEEF is used to cover the costs of collection, treatment, and recycling of waste portable batteries and accumulators, and the costs of informing the public about the collection, treatment and recycling of all waste portable batteries and accumulators.

The collection fee for the collected quantities of waste portable batteries and accumulators, inclusive of VAT amounts to:

  • 12,00 kn/kg for the quantities of waste portable batteries and accumulators accepted from the holder

The fee for the treatment operator for the treatment and/or recycling of waste portable batteries and accumulators amounts to 7,50 kn/kg (inclusive of VAT).

The fee for the treatment operator to cover the costs of export of waste portable batteries and accumulators that cannot be treated and/or recycled in the Republic of Croatia amounts to 7,50 kn/kg (inclusive of VAT).