Wastecare pleads guilty after ‘regrettable accident’ at battery plant and fined £120,000

Wastecare has published a statement explaining that it has been fined £120,000 after pleading guilty to breaching health and safety regulations, in relation to an incident at its Halifax battery recycling plant in 2019. 

Part of the pilot battery plant in Halifax pictured in 2018

According to a statement from the waste solutions company, the incident led to one of its “longstanding production managers” breaking his leg when a stack of batteries collapsed onto him.

“As we hadn’t expressly outlined the correct way to store and stack FIBCs [ (flexible intermediate bulk containers] in our site risk assessments or training documents, we accepted the company had failed to ensure the manager’s safety.”

Following a “thorough investigation” by the HSE, Wastecare said it has been fined £120,000 for the breach of safety law.

Our manager made a full recovery and returned to work four months after the accident

  • Wastecare


The Wastecare statement added: “We acknowledge our responsibility to ensure the health, safety and well-being of all individuals on our sites. Since the accident we have reviewed and, where necessary, revised our risk assessments and method statements.  As a responsible company we are committed to always ensuring that our safety procedures are fit for purpose.

“Safety remains our top priority. Only recently we received ISO 45001, our Health & Safety accreditation. We are pleased to confirm that our manager made a full recovery and returned to work four months after the accident.”


Wastecare opened its Halifax battery plant in 2021 (see letsrecycle.com story). The company said at the time that the £2 million facility, located a few miles south of Halifax, is capable of processing 25,000 tonnes of household batteries annually.

In preparation for the forthcoming changes to the waste battery regulations Wastecare has recently applied for permit variations to expand their on-site facility for sorting all portable battery chemical variants and the processing alkaline batteries, enabling high grade zinc, manganese and graphite to be separately recovered and for reuse in industry. Other types of batteries including lead acid are separated into their different types and sent for offsite recycling and recovery.

Battery recycling

Wastecare has been recycling batteries through a small-scale pilot plant in Halifax since 2017 (see letsrecycle.com story). The larger plant is due to become operational in time for the introduction of the amended waste battery regulations.

Via producer compliance scheme BatteryBack, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Wastecare Group, the firm makes more than 50,000 collections of household batteries from retailers, businesses and schools each year.

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