Disposal of batteries, especially lead batteries, is the primary concern in terms of waste disposal and can cause environmental contamination if not recycled. Nonetheless, authorities are fully aware of the risks and their directives for this matter.
The EU-regulated Battery Directive (Directive 2006/66/EC) establishes a framework for the collection and recycling of batteries in all European Union countries. It additionally establishes minimum rules for national collection centres and recycling plants. In particular, the Battery Directive sets minimum regulations for the strategic plan and financing schemes which can be used by the producers; financing the cost of the collection, treatment and recycling of waste batteries is voluntary, but it should obey specific criteria.
In countries such as the Netherlands, where having and riding a bike is a lifestyle, the popularity of e-bikes grew naturally. With the growing trend, many battery disposal debates have taken place.
In 2014, only 87000 kg of electric bicycle batteries were collected correctly in the Netherlands.
Although the collection, recycling, treatment and disposal of batteries are tightly regulated, these numbers are alarming if we take a moment to consider that not everyone follows the law.