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Safety Advisory Notes

Safety Advisory Notes

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Safety Advisory Notes

  1. 1. SAFETY ADVISORY NOTES 1. Introduction Eucobat is the European association of national collection schemes for batteries. They assure that all waste batteries are collected and recycled in an ecological sound way, and contribute this way to a better environment. These advisory notes are based upon the experience and the best practices of the members of Eucobat, to the best knowledge of the compliance organizations. They are subject of permanent evaluation and improvement. These advisory notes do not take into account specific regulations of the different Member States, which should always be respected in the respective countries. 2. Classification of the collection points For safety reasons, a distinction can be made between following waste battery streams: • General battery mix: this mix corresponds to the average mix of portable waste batteries generated by households. This battery mix represents a very limited risk.The main risk consists of a short circuit. The consequences of short-­‐circuiting can become more severe with an increasing share of the high energy density batteries (in particular lithium and rechargeable batteries) in the battery mix. At the current level (e.g. 2-­‐2,5% of lithium batteries in the mix), no specific actions are required, but its share in the battery mix should be analyzed regularly. • A high concentration of the same type of batteries or naked cells or damaged batteries (in particular Li-­‐Ion packs, NiCd packs, NiMH packs, button cells,…). • Damaged rechargeable lithium batteries over 500g. As a consequence, the collection points can be classified as follows: • General collection point: Here, a general battery mix is collected. As a consequence, the risks are very limited. • Dedicated collection points: these collect a high concentration of the same type of batteries or naked cells or damaged batteries (in particular Li-­‐Ion packs, NiCd packs, NiMH packs, button cells,…). These waste streams require special attention due to the nature of their chemistry, weight, design or a combination of those elements.
  2. 2. Should be considered as dedicated collection points, amongst others: • E-­‐mobility retailers and repair centres (e-­‐bikes, e-­‐scooters,…) • WEEE dismantlers • DIY retailers and repair centres • EEE afters sales services and refurbishment centres • Municipalities (for the waste streams with a high concentration of the same type of batteries) • Battery experts (specialized wholesalers or retailers, battery pack assemblers,…) • Garages • Any organization with a high concentration of naked cells (specialized retailers and repair centres of equipment using button cells,…) • … This list is exemplary and not exhaustive. 3. Advisory notes for general collection points a. Advice for the compliance organizations • Optimize containers, taking into account all legal requirements for storage and transport, including ADR, in order to direct the end-­‐users to the most appropriate collection point) . • Limit the size of the opening on waste containers for individual battery cells, so only portable batteries for household use can be collected. • Raise consumer awareness concerning the appropriate collection points for the different types of batteries as well as the awareness at collection points. Use appropriate education tools to raise awareness and keep children attitude within safety limits. b. Advice for the general collection points • Only collect portable batteries for household use • Only use the container supplied by the local Compliance Organization • Do not store large quantities, according to the instructions of the Compliance Organization • Call the Compliance Organization when the containers are full • Do not store under sunlight or near a heat source • Do not store in a humid place. Collected waste batteries must not be exposed to the operation of water in various states of matter, i.e. rain, snow. If stored in open space, keep a cover permanently. • Keep an appropriate fire extinguisher near the storage vicinity. Research concerning best fire extinguishing equipment is on-­‐going. According to general Eucobat Safety Advisory Notes v4.1 11/09/2012
  3. 3. knowledge, the use of dry sand is appropriate in all cases. Avoid the use of water in case of fire. • Avoid the presence of other type of waste, especially current conductive equipment or equipment which may damage batteries • Keep the container in a space with a certain level of social control and supervision in order to avoid abuse • Keep the container in a ventilated space 4. Advisory notes for dedicated collection points a. Advice for the compliance organizations • Optimize the container systems at relevant collection points, in compliance with all applicable regulations. • Containers holding lithium batteries must be clearly labelled that they contain such batteries. • Review the instructions for the collection points regularly, and update them when necessary.. • Raise the awareness at collection points and the awareness of all process chain participants b. Advice for the collection points • Avoid any short circuit. This can be achieved by different prevention measures: o Pack individually each single cell. When feasible, use the original packaging. o Do not remove batteries from their original (cardboard) packaging after collection. o Scotch tape both terminals of the waste batteries. o Separate batteries with loose wires from others and remove loose wires when possible, or put them in a separate plastic bag • Do not store large quantities of primary lithium batteries in one consignment. • It is recommended that these batteries be stored separately in a plastic drum and be stored away from heat and flammable sources. • In order to reduce the risk of fire, store temporarily these batteries in a small consignment using minerals like sand, vermiculite as cushioning agent • When feasible, store selective consignments of Lithium Primary Batteries under controlled atmosphere (CO2) conditions • Batteries must not be exposed to sudden impacts or high temperatures. It is recommended that handling be planned with fire/explosion in mind. In case of a fire/explosion, consider the direction of any thrown-­‐out burning lithium or other battery fragments. Lithium reacts slowly with water in forming combustible hydrogen gas. Eucobat Safety Advisory Notes v4.1 11/09/2012
  4. 4. • All the employees should be trained in handling lithium cells. • If possible, consider targeted discharge of batteries. • Do not store these batteries with other flammable materials (e.g. solvent, paper, plastic,…). • A good general fire extinguishing agent is dry sand. • Avoid contact with leaking or venting batteries, especially skin and eyes. At contact with spilled battery liquid, rinse abundantly with water. • Inform the local compliance organisation as soon as possible at the occasion of any incident and try to preserve the evidence as much as possible without taking any unnecessary risks. 5. Damaged lithium batteries over 500g The ADR 2013 regulation provides a special provision for damaged lithium batteries over 500g. This provision has already entered into force in some countries in 2011. The transport of these damaged lithium batteries over 500g is permitted only in a packaging approved by the national competent authorities and under the conditions defined by these national competent authorities. A copy of the approval must accompany each consignment, or the transport document must refer to it. Research concerning the most appropriate packaging for these transports is on-­‐going. 6. General remark The objective of these advisory notes is to minimize the risks of battery collection as much as possible. The combination of different measures will lead to a considerable reduction of risk, while the total avoidance of risks can never be guaranteed. Eucobat Safety Advisory Notes v4.1 11/09/2012

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