Recycling Fees Increased for Waste Lithium Batteries and Lighting Sources


Starting from 1 July 2021, the EPA will raise the recycling subsidy fee rates for dry batteries such as LiNiCoMnO2 batteries and lithium iron phosphate batteries, as well as for light bulbs such as LEDs, straight tubes and non-straight tubes. The increases are made in order to reflect the hike in recycling and processing costs for waste dry batteries and lighting sources, reduce the risks associated with accumulating them, solve related disposal problems, enhance recycling efficiency, and increase the willingness and economic incentives of the processing industry to process such items.

The EPA pointed out that there are various kinds of secondary lithium batteries. Currently consumer electronics and home appliances use lithium cobalt batteries, which are still purchased by processors for recycling. But LiNiCoMnO2 batteries and lithium iron phosphate batteries are mostly used for electric cars, motorcycles, and energy storage. Since nickel and cobalt contents are low in LiNiCoMnO2 batteries and lithium iron phosphate batteries contain only lithium and iron, the materials recovered from these types of batteries are of low value. As a result, recyclers have to pay processors to process them. Currently many vehicles related enterprises recycle secondary lithium batteries and accumulate them on their premises. Since secondary lithium batteries are highly reactive, accumulating them can easily cause fire or other problems. To prevent these hazards, solve disposal problems, and increase the recycling efficiency associated with these types of batteries, the EPA decided to raise the recycling subsidy fee rates for LiNiCoMnO2 batteries and lithium iron phosphate batteries.  

In addition, traditional lighting sources are currently being phased out from the market to comply with mercury-limiting measures mandated by the Minamata Convention on Mercury. The recycling volume is dropping and processing costs going up year after year. As for LED lighting sources, the evolution of their component materials has led to the decline of profits from recycling and processing them. In addition, the labor costs for handling and sorting also went up, resulting in an increase in the cost of recycling and processing. Thus, the EPA is raising recycling subsidy fee rates for traditional straight tubes and non-straight tubes, as well as LED lights, based on cost survey data from 2020.   

The EPA reminded the enterprises receiving subsidies that after 1 July 2021 they shall apply for and receive their recycling subsidies according to the newly adjusted fee rates. For any related problems, they can call the Resource Recycling hotline (0800-085717) or check with the resource recycling website (https://recycle.epa.gov.tw)for help.

Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, June 2021

Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)
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