Increased safety for spent mobility batteries

Marc Martens Marc Martens Facebook Linkedin

CurTec drums have been used to collect spent batteries around Europe for many years now. You may recall our customer stories about Stibat, Bebat and GRS among others. Recently Corepile in France decided to start using CurTec drums for the collection of spent e-bike batteries. We spoke to their Collection Network Manager Alexis Rivollier about that choice.

E-Bikes are hot! The E-mobility trend is gaining more followers every day. Almost 20% of all new bikes sold in Europe today (1 out of 4 in France) are motorized to assist the rider’s pedal power. The power comes from a rechargeable battery mounted on the bike. Batteries in general last between 4 and 7 years and then they need to be replaced.

To prevent spent batteries from ending up in the trash, most European countries have appointed national compliance schemes in charge of the collection of spent batteries. Corepile is an eco-organization dedicated to the collection and recycling of regular, portable (for 20+ years) and mobility batteries (for 5 years) in France, and is largely financed by companies that put batteries or products with batteries on the French market.

Corepile collection promotion banner

Alexis: “In 2021, we collected 94 tons of spent mobility batteries, which roughly translates to 31,000 pieces. We collect them from the 2000 affiliated shops in France and then transport them to collection centers in every department. From there, they travel across France to one of the two recycling facilities in Lyon and Metz.”

Li-on batteries should be recycled

Alexis: “Before the introduction of the collection kit with a CurTec drum, spent e-bike batteries were simply stored and shipped in single-use ADR cardboard boxes. After finding CurTec drums for the collection of regular used batteries at Bebat, we realized that we could increase the safety of our collection service and all players involved.”

Increase safety and sustainability

Besides increasing the safety of the collection kit, Corepile also wanted to increase the sustainability of their collection scheme. Alexis: “What we particularly like about the plastic drums is that they are :

  • UN certified for hazardous solids - this is a legal requirement for shipping spent batteries and guarantees the safety on the road;
  • Able to release pressure built up inside the drum, which increases the security of collection points and collectors;
  • Practical – the screw lid is fast and easy to use;
  • Recognizable – the drums have been customized with the Corepile logo with supports our branding;
  • Reusable – the drums are robust and easy to clean.”

The new collection kit with a CurTec drum

The distribution of the new collection kit started in 2021. Besides a 55 liter Total Opening Drum, it also includes plastic bags for damaged batteries and a bag of vermiculite to isolate the battery packs which further increases safety. “A drum can hold 10-12 bike batteries. Full drums are collected, emptied into large metal drums at departmental regrouping points, washed and then returned to bike shops for re-use” says Alexis.

A responsible choice

Naturally we were also keen to learn what users think of the new collection kit so we paid a visit to Cyclable, one of the many bike shops in Paris, where we met Zak. Zak is a passionate e-biker, has been selling e-bikes for many years now and recognizes the risks involved with the collection of spent battery packs.

Zak: “Before the introduction of the collection kit, we were simply piling the empty battery packs on a shelf in our shop. I’m a responsible citizen who worries about the safety of my coworkers and the neighborhood.  And we were basically storing hazardous goods in a residential area without significant protection. I like the drum because it adds a layer of protection that wasn’t present before, and it’s easy to use.”

Would you like to learn more about certified packaging for spent battery collection or shipping dangerous goods?

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