A lead-acid battery recycling plant in the UK has been refused a permit after environmental authorities considered the applicant— Fenix Battery Recycling— unable to “competently” run the site at Willenhall, England.
The Environment Agency refused the environmental permit after considering the “applicant would not operate the facility in accordance with the conditions of a permit” and a lack of technical information in the application.
A full break down of the Agency’s concerns can be viewed by clicking here.
An Agency report on 4 April noted there was “such a persistently poor record of compliance associated with the Willenhall site, and other sites run and/or managed by the directors of the applicant, that this history cannot be ignored when considering the suitability of the applicant for an environmental permit”.
The decision was informed by a number of incidents observed by Environmental Crime Team (ECT) officers when visiting the Willenhall facility site dating back to August 2020.
Among the reasons were the “large tonnage” of “inappropriately stored” batteries, unclear means of disposing waste— particularly electrolyte— and the recycling methods.
A Fenix Battery Recycling spokesman said the company are “extremely disappointed” by the Environment Agency’s refusal of a permit for the facility.
The Fenix spokesman told BEST: “We are considering our position and taking advice on our next steps. We don’t want to prejudice our position by commenting specifically on the reasons given by the Environment Agency for the refusal.
“Meanwhile, we will concentrate on operating our battery recycling facility in Kilwinning, Scotland, where we hold a Waste Management Licence issued by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency.”
Scottish recycling plant
Last May, Fenix Battery Recycling opened a multi-chemistry battery recycling facility in Kilwinning, Scotland, that specialised in electric vehicle batteries.
The Fenix spokesman told BEST on 5 April the Willenhall decision “doesn’t affect our site in Scotland. We are up and running when the permits were issued last week”.
The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) had refused the Transfer of an Environmental Permit at Kilwinning from Belmont Trading to Fenix Battery Recycling on 17 November 2021.
Fenix spokesman told BEST: “The permits have now been transferred in Scotland; once we were asked to show “financial provision” we demonstrated it and the permit was transferred.”
Since gaining the permit, the company has applied for an Approved Battery Treatment Operator approval for the Kilwinning site from SEPA.