Officials are concerned over potential health hazards posed by used batteries
Britons will be expected to recycle far more batteries under a new European law which is coming into effect.
The EU batteries directive requires that an eighth of all portable domestic batteries sold are recycled by 2012, rising to a fifth by 2016.
At the moment only 3% of batteries in the UK are recycled and the government will now be expected to ensure the necessary facilities are in place.
The EU has the power to fine countries that do not meet its targets.
The European Commission say the directive is an important step towards its goal of a greener society.
Officials say they are concerned about environmental and health hazards posed by used batteries which contain metals including mercury, lead, cadmium, zinc and copper when they are dumped in landfill sites.