General overview of the battery recycling business
Usually, disposing of old batteries results in vast heaps of waste in the environment. Besides, although batteries are mainly used but these come with several harmful materials. So, disposing of them doesn’t sound good. Thus, a better alternative for throwing your battery away is recycling them. This highlights the need for the battery recycling business.
Overview of battery recycling
The battery recycling business involves the practice of reprocessing and reuse of batteries. The process aims to reduce the number of batteries discarded as waste materials. Batteries have various heavy metals and poisonous chemicals. Thus, their disposal has led to various environmental issues due to soil and water contamination. As such, batteries require recycling to adhere to health and environmental benefits.
Overview of lead acid battery recycling
Recycling lead-acid batteries are highly profitable and so is the lead-acid battery recycling business. This is due to the high recyclability of components used in the battery. The major components used are:
- electrode paste (lead oxide and lead sulphate)
- lead (alloy) from grids and poles of the battery
- sulphuric acid
- plastic (polypropylene)
This secondary lead so obtained is highly recyclable but requires purification before its usage. Also, the increasing demand for lead is met via this secondary lead as it is cheaper than mining new lead. Moreover, the battery recycling business is far less polluting than mining the mineral. Furthermore, with proper pollution control measures, it can be further reduced. Lead-acid battery recycling involves refining and melting the lead and the lead paste from discarded and dead batteries.
Overview of the lithium-ion battery recycling
The sector for lithium-ion batteries in India is expected to grow exponentially in the next five years. Moreover, lithium-ion battery recycling is expected to offer a $1000 million opportunity by 2030. However, India meets its lithium-ion battery needs solely through imports.
That said, setting up the battery recycling business is still profitable as India has an abundant domestic source of metals. Currently, less than 5% of lithium-ion batteries are recycled due to economic and technological constraints. Thus, the best part is that lithium battery recycling and reusing will direct us toward a circular economy.
Thus, to promote this and fulfil India’s green goals, the MoEF&CC (Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change) stipulated the Battery Waste Management Rules 2020. Indeed, the BWM seeks the safe disposal of hazardous battery wastes and promotes a circular economy by establishing a battery recycling business. Further, the rules fix the responsibilities of dealers, producers, consumers, and entities involved in the segregation, collection, transportation, recycling and refurbishment of all kinds of batteries, including lithium-ion and lead acid batteries. The following section describes these rules in detail.
The Battery Waste Management Rules, 2022
Salient features of the BWM Rules
- Published on 22nd August 2022, the Battery Waste Management Rules, 2022will apply to -
- Entities involved in the segregation, collection, refurbishment, transportation and recycling of waste batteries, including the battery recycling business.
- In addition, the rules also stipulate several functions of various entities involved. These roles and responsibilities are explained below.
Responsibilities of recyclers
The Battery Waste Management rules define a recycler as an entity involved in waste battery recycling. According to the rules, the recycler must comply with certain functions given below -
- It shall be the responsibility of the recycler to –
- make sure that it conducts any activity as per the guidelines provided by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB);
- apply in Form 2(A) to the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) to obtain the grant of one-time registration;
- guarantee that other waste produced while handling and recycling activities be managed according to the extant guidelineslikePlastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, and E-waste (Management) Rules, 2016;
- make sure that hazardous waste produced from any activity of the battery recycling business is managed according to the provisions under Hazardous & Other Wastes (Management & Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016;
- make sure that the waste battery is removed from the collected equipment if the battery is included in an appliance;
- guarantee that recycling units and processes for waste batteries comply with the guidelines or standards set by the CPCB.
- All recyclers involved in the battery recycling business must register with the SPCB via the online portal. The certificate of registration must be issued in Form 2(B).
- The total quantity of waste battery processed by the unit involved in waste battery recycling shall be made available on the website created by CPCB along with the portal of the entities quarterly. Besides, recyclers must submit the quarterly returns in Form 4, providing the details on the number of waste batteries received or collected from various units or producers, recycled quantities, compliance of material-wise recovery percentage according to the recovery targets given under sub-rule 4 of rule 10, the quantity of hazardous or/and other waste including plastic or solid waste produced after recycling and of such quantity according to the existing rules. Moreover, the quarterly return must be filed by the month's end, succeeding the end of the quarter.
- Recyclers involved in the battery recycling business must not deal with any other unit that is not registered under these rules.
Functions of the lead acid battery recycler
Recyclers involved in the lead acid battery recycling business must perform the following functions -
- Make sure to comply with strict compliances with regulations of the registration.
- Implement hazard control measures to avert lead exposure for the workforce via medical surveillance, Personal Protective Equipment and health insurance.
- Submit annual returns to the respective SPCB.
- Tag lead recovered by reprocessing "Recycled".
- Provide records related to the used sources, batteries, quantities and metal yield for inspection if demanded by the SPCB.
- Create public awareness through publications, advertisements and posters to make people aware consumers about the severe hazards of heavy metal pollution or selling/discarding batteries in the informal industry.
Provision of certificate for Waste Battery
According to the BWM rules, there is a provision for the certificate for waste batteries which is explained below -
- In no situation, the amount of waste battery recycled or refurbished by the battery recycling business must be more than the unit's installed capacity. These certificates are for the waste battery category-wise and will include the unit's Goods and Services Tax (GST) data.
- The certificate for waste batteries given by the registered entities shall be provided for the type and quantity of the battery recycled or refurbished. Also, this can be transacted to meet Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)obligations. CPCB will offer the issuance of such certificates on the online portal.
- Entities involved in the refurbishment and/or waste battery recycling business, registered as per these rules, must offer a waste battery processing certificate.
- Recyclers must adhere to the minimum recovery of battery materials, as mentioned in the table below.
Type of Battery
Recovery target for the year (in percentage)
2026-27 and onwards
- CPCB generates the EPR certificates via a centralised online portal depending on the refurbished or recycled quantities assigned to recyclers. The recyclers can sell the assigned EPR certificates to producers in exchange for the waste battery.
- Furthermore, the EPR certificates for recyclers must be generated based on the geographical source of the battery, like domestic or imported, the weight of the battery processed and the percentage fulfilment of material recovery targets for a particular year.
- The certificates will remain valid for seven years to meet the norms set for the producers.
- The recyclers will submit and record all transactions on the online portal while filing quarterly returns.
Other designated roles and responsibilities
- CPCB must issue norms for environmentally sound processes of storage, collection, refurbishment, transportation and recycling of waste batteries.
- The SPCB must register a battery recycling business entity through an online portal in Form 2(B).
- The funds collected under Environmental Compensation shall be kept in a separate escrow account by Central Pollution Control Board or State Pollution Control Board.
- The funds must be used to collect and recycle nonrecycled and uncollected waste batteries against which environmental compensation is imposed.
Centralised Online Portal
- The system must guarantee a process wherein the material balance of waste battery as per EPR obligations of producers is reflected. Further, it must also reflect the details related to the audit of the producers and entities involved in the battery recycling business.
- CPCB must create an online system for filing returns and registration by recyclers and producers of waste batteries within six months of the commencement of these BWM rules.
- The online portal would serve as a single-point data repository related to the guidelines and orders to implement these rules.
- The SPCB must also use the online portal of CPCB used for the registration of producers to register units involved in waste battery recycling.
Why is the battery recycling business important?
The battery recycling business involves processing waste batteries. The aim is to ensure you can reuse them rather than dispose of them. Indeed, this is very important as it reduces the significant count of improperly discarded batteries.
Besides, the practice protects the environment against the harmful effects of the toxic substances in discarded batteries. In addition, with recycling, there is less requirement for new battery production, thereby contributing to the world’s material waste.
Documents required by the waste battery recycler
The owner requires the following documents for the battery recycling business -
- Form 4 for quarterly return
- Form 2(A) for grant of one-time registration
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Business plan
- Insurance policy
- Employment offer
- Business license and permit
- EPR authorisation
- Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)
The registration process for the owner of the battery recycling business
The owner of the battery recycling business must apply on the web portal of the CPCB for filing returns. This must be done within six months of the commencement of the rules.
Process of lead acid battery recycling
Here is a step-by-step process followed by the lead-acid battery recycling businesses -
The step involves collecting lead acid batteries from disposal points. A recycling firm collects the disposed batteries at this stage.
The next step is breaking the batteries apart. At the recycling unit, recyclers use hammer mills to crush the battery into segments.
Sorting includes segregating the parts of a lead-acid battery. Battery waste recyclers are responsible for sorting a battery's paper and plastic components from the metal and lead components. The heavy metals and lead in the battery undergo further processing afterwards.
In this step, recyclers remove thermoplastics from the battery. This is followed by sieving out the liquid in the battery and leaving the dry lead components. Heavy metals and lead are then processed further for the final step of recycling.
Meanwhile, the plastic materials removed from the battery undergo washing. The recyclers involved in the battery recycling business then send the thermoplastic to plastic recyclers, which reprocess them. Thermoplastics are ideal for making casings for new batteries. Additionally, plastic manufacturers also create new plastic products from these thermoplastics.
The final step of lead-acid battery recycling involves extracting the lead and heavy metal components from the battery remains. Recyclers mould the molten lead and transfer it to manufacturers to make new batteries.
The complete process of recycling lithium-ion batteries
Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are rechargeable batteries widely used in electronics and cars. These batteries share some similarities with lead-acid batteries regarding the recycling process. Following is the detailed process followed by the lithium-ion recycling business.
Recyclers gather used lithium-ion batteries from designated locations or collection points in this process.
The step involves recyclers segregating the plastic materials in a battery from metal components.
The components of lithium-ion batteries undergo high-temperature metal reclamation during this stage. Metals in the batteries are also extracted in this stage. Metals so obtained are used to make new products.
Provision of environmental compensation
- The concerned SPCB imposes environmental compensation on entities involved in the battery recycling business. It is also imposed on the units involved in segregation, collection and treatment, operating in their jurisdiction regarding the non-fulfilment of their obligations and responsibilities mentioned under these rules. If SPCB doesn’t take action in two months, the CPCB must instruct the SPCB.
- Based on the polluter pays principle, environmental compensation must also be levied for the following activities –
- providing wrong information/intentionally hiding material facts by the units registered as per BWM rules;
- facilities conducting activities without registration;
- units involved in segregation, collection and treatment regarding not following sound handling of waste battery;
- submitting manipulated/fake documents by the units.
- The committee formed by CPCB for implementation must recommend and prepare guidelines for collecting and imposition of environmental compensation from units and producers involved in waste battery recycling in case of non-fulfilment of guidelines under BWM rules.
- The funds collected under environmental compensation must be kept in a separate escrow account by CPCB/SPCB. Also,
- The funds will be used to collect and recycle nonrecycled and uncollected waste batteries against which environmental compensation is imposed.
- The committee will suggest modalities for using the funds for waste battery management for implementation for the approval of the Central Government.
- After completion of three years after environmental compensation getting due, the entire amount will be renounced. This will also allow collection and waste battery recycling by specific entities in later years.
How can Enterclimate help you?
Help in the submission of the required documents
Our team understands the value of our client’s vision of his business. Thus, we offer complete help for the submission of the required documents.
We at Enterclimateofferenvironmental licensing and compliance assistance throughout the journey of obtaining a license for the battery recycling business.
Swift redressal of all your doubts
Enterclimate experts are famed for a quick response rate. We ensure that our communication with our clients is always prompt, upbeat and seamless.