In 1992, GP Batteries International Limited (GP Batteries) acquired a local battery plant which had deposited substantial industrial wastes in the 1980s in Skovsted landfill in Thisted, Denmark, operated by Thisted Kommune. In 2016, Thisted Kommune announced closure of the landfill area which had to be cleared in a few years.
GP Batteries assumed the responsibility of clearing the wastes under strict environmental compliance with action plans approved by Environmental Protection Agency of Denmark. As part of the overall assignment, the contractor entered into an agreement with Fortum Recycling & Waste’s Field Service team to solve the sorting and packing of approx. 600 tonnes of mainly consumer batteries on-site for transport to the recycling downstream solution in The Netherlands.
Hardworking, proactive and responsible partner
“Reducing waste is one of GP Batteries’ main environmental focus areas, and we have been working towards zero waste in our battery manufacturing facilities - to measure and validate reduction, reuse, recovery, composting, anaerobic digestion and incineration of waste to energy generated from our production.”, says Stella Tse, Assistant General Manager, Corporate Affairs and Administration at GP.
“I was assigned to take up the waste removal project in Thisted, Denmark in July 2019. As the project nature and location were beyond my radar, we could only do basic desktop research as a start. Through environmental and recycling platforms, I narrowed down my search list based on operation, network and expertise of potential service providers, and here Fortum topped my list, says Stella Tse.
On a mission for a cleaner world, Fortum has 50 years of experience in removing hazardous substances from complex and hazardous waste, making it possible to recycle valuable materials and promote circular economy. For GP Batteries, the Finnish-owned group has been a perfect match for the concrete solution that optimizes the battery manufacturer's resource and cost efficiency.
Stella Tse explains how GP experienced the cooperation with Fortum Recycling & Waste, “We submitted an email enquiry late July 2019. Fortum quickly reacted with feedback and set up a site visit in Denmark late August. From then till signing of the engagement contract, they detailed relevant legal compliance requirements and government procedures in a professional manner. The project started in April 2020 and the last drum was cleared mid December 2020.
Fortum Recycling & Waste’s insight and understanding of the authority approval process was beneficial for the complex project. As part of the notification process for on-site solution, it was critical to document mercury the content in the batteries to locate if the waste was hazardous or non-hazardous. Fortum’s Field Service team and accredited laboratory contributed with their expertise to accomplish these tests.
“We were fully kept in the loop of the progress through timely continuous dialogue with Fortum. I would like to thank Fortum for diligent monitoring and the field team for their hard work of handling more than 900 tonnes of waste (gross) or 600 tonnes of batteries (net) in more than 2,500 plastic drums”, the Assistant General Manager rounds off.
About GP Batteries
GP Batteries is principally engaged in the development, manufacture and marketing of batteries and battery-related products. Since its establishment under Gold Peak Group in Hong Kong, GP has rapidly expanded to become one of the world's major suppliers of primary and rechargeable batteries. It is one of the largest consumer battery manufacturers in China currently employing about 6,000 people worldwide. The company has production facilities located in China, Vietnam and Malaysia and supplies an extensive range of battery products to original equipment manufacturers, leading battery companies as well as consumer retail markets under its own GP brand name.