Stibat to attend the 27th ICBR Congress
The 27th edition of the ICBR Congress will be held in the Austrian town of Salzburg from 14-16 September. The ICBR is the place to be for all international recycling organisations and major players to discuss the latest developments in the industry.
The ICBR (International Congress for Battery Recycling) is Europe’s #1 gathering for parties who are active in the field of battery recycling. Experts and decision-makers from the sector come from every corner of the world to share knowledge, engage in discussions and discuss developments. Of course, Stibat will also be present at the ICBR in Salzburg. Director Arie de Jong is the president of the ICBR steering group and he will also open this year’s congress. The steering group assists the conference organisation with expertise and helps them find speakers. The steering group’s members also preside over the various parts of the congress.
For Stichting Stibat Services, founded as the implementing organisation of Stichting Batterijen and Stichting EPAC, attending the ICBR is tradition. De Jong says the reports presented during the event by various international research institutions and universities are educational. “There’s a lot you can learn from them, for example how to improve processes in your own country. Vice versa, our foreign colleagues also learn from us.”
In addition to discussions, networking sessions and presentations, the ICBR also offers various workshops. This year, for example, there will be a workshop about how to efficiently recycle black mass, the substance left over after dismantling batteries. An important component of the ICBR is the presentation of the latest technological developments. Although many of these have not yet left the laboratory phase, some have already reached a further stage of development and are being applied in test facilities or real factories. “Some of those ideas are truly surprising.”
De Jong says the ICBR is the most sustainable way of bringing the recycling industry together. “If you were to visit everyone separately, you would have to fly back and forth around the world. The ICBR allows us to meet all the key players from the global recycling sector in one place.”
At the same time that the ICBR is being held, the general assembly of Eucobat will convene in Salzburg as well. This association is made up of many European non-profit organisations operating in the waste batteries sector, of which Stibat is one. Eucobat is frequently in talks with the EU. The organisation maintains relationships with European policy makers and exchanges advice and opinions. “This is crucial for the organisations that are involved in the collection of waste batteries because they must be informed about impending changes to European policies and regulations in a timely manner,” De Jong says.
More and More Batteries
In a time of unprecedented focus on the climate and the environment, responsible recycling is becoming increasingly important – especially given the rapidly growing number of waste batteries. The number of accumulators – like those used in mobile devices and in vehicles such as electric cars and bicycles – has grown exponentially in recent years. De Jong therefore expects to see a ‘flood’ of waste batteries in the years to come. “This makes it all the more important for us at Stibat to redouble our efforts to remind people to return their waste batteries separately and to talk to our colleagues at the ICBR about how to recycle batteries as effectively as possible.”