TOUGH battery recycling targets are unlikely to be met in Kirklees next year.
The European Commission is expected to order that three-quarters of household batteries and 95% of car batteries are recycled in the UK by the end of 2004.
But Kirklees Council's Overview and Scrutiny panel for the Environment learned yesterday that in the UK, less than 1% of household batteries are handed over to be processed.
Many millions are thrown away with household rubbish.
Dave McMahon, environmental projects manager for Kirklees Council, said the authority would follow British Government policy relating to the EU's recycling demands.
The Government made an official reply to the European directive in April.
For Britain to meet the high targets, Mr McMahon told the scrutiny committee a battery recycling centre had to be built in this country.
Britain's only zinc smelter at Avonmouth on the Bristol Channel has shut down.
Batteries commonly contain zinc, lead and cadmium and are expensive to make safe.
Only silver oxide batteries are profitable to process because of the value of the silver they contain.
In Kirklees, five sites for recycling car batteries sent off 88 tonnes to be processed last year.
The batteries are shipped to plants in France and Germany.
Panel member Clr Graham Simpson said it would be a strong incentive to recycle household batteries if people who handed them in received some cash back.
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