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TOPICS: Water Management, Waste
Question from Dr Teo Ho Pin: To ask the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources whether the Ministry can provide details on how Singapore's car industry disposes of car batteries and what measures are in place to ensure that batteries and chemicals are not disposed off indiscriminately into our water catchment areas.
There are three main types of car batteries in the market today. They are lead acid batteries for regular cars, and lithium-ion and nickel metal hydride batteries for electric and hybrid cars.
2 Lead acid batteries contain lead which is harmful to the environment and human health, and acid which is corrosive. Spent lead acid batteries are classified as Toxic Industrial Waste (TIW) under the Environmental Public Health (TIW) Regulations. They are required to be collected and disposed of by Toxic Industrial Waste Collectors licensed by the National Environment Agency (NEA). Lead acid batteries that have reached their end-of-life are usually removed from cars at workshops and collected by licensed Toxic Industrial Waste Collectors. These collectors must adhere to safety practices in the collection and transportation of the lead acid batteries, and are prohibited from disposing of the batteries indiscriminately, such as in general waste bins, public areas or water catchment areas.
3 Lithium-ion and nickel metal hydride batteries from electric and hybrid cars are typically removed from cars at workshops, car dealerships or scrapyards, and sold to local e-waste recyclers or exported for resource recovery treatment.
4 In 2021, the NEA will implement the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) approach to manage e-waste, which will cover lithium-ion batteries and nickel metal hydride batteries. Under the EPR framework, producers who bring the products to market are responsible for the collection and proper treatment of their waste. The Resource Sustainability Act will give effect to the EPR framework.
5 In the case of lithium-ion batteries and nickel metal hydride batteries, authorised dealers and parallel importers of electric or hybrid cars will be the designated producers. These producers will be required to provide free take-back and disposal services for all end-of-life batteries, or engage an operator who will organise the collection of batteries from scrapyards, workshops, and dealerships, and ensure that the collected batteries are properly disposed of at licensed e-waste recyclers. NEA will also impose recycling requirements that all e-waste recyclers must meet. They include requirements for the proper handling and treatment of e-waste as well as material recovery targets. NEA is working closely with Land Transport Authority (LTA) and industry stakeholders on the operational details.
Last updated: 05 Nov 2019
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