India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has made available the draft version of Battery Waste Management Rules, 2020 for comment. The new rules, when enforced, will replace the earlier Batteries (Management and Handling) Rules, 2001, with amendments made to ensure safe disposal and organized recycling of batteries at the end of their life.
The rules apply to “Every manufacturer, producer, collection center, importer, re-conditioner, re-furbisher, dismantler, assembler, dealer, recycler, auctioneer, vehicle service center, consumer and bulk consumer involved in manufacture, processing, sale, purchase, collection, storage, re-processing and use of batteries or components there of including their components, consumables and spare parts which make the product operational.”
As per the draft rules, it shall be the responsibility of a manufacturer, importer, assembler and re-conditioner to ensure that the used batteries are collected back as per the Schedule against new batteries sold, excluding those sold to original equipment manufacturer and bulk consumers. Further, they are required to file annual return of their sales and buy-back to the State Pollution Control Board by December 31 every year. They shall set up collection centers either individually or jointly at various places for collection of used batteries from consumers or dealers, and ensure that used batteries collected are sent only to the registered recyclers.
In addition, the manufacturers shall collect hazardous waste generated during the manufacture of any battery and channelize it for recycling or disposal.
The distribution and sale of batteries, as also collection, auction, transport and re-processing of used batteries shall be tracked online by a system developed by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) or an agency designated by it.
Further, the CPCB shall be responsible for preparation of guidelines for battery recycling facilities, standardization of technologies for all types of battery recycling, technology transfers, standards for battery waste recycling and waste disposal out of recycling facilities, and establishment of R&D cell for battery recycling.
The rules apply to all batteries, except those used in military equipment, space exploration equipment, emergency and alarm systems, emergency lighting and medical equipment.