Cobat is the great Italian platform of services for the circular economy.

Cobat is present throughout the national territory thanks to a logistics and plant network. For this reason, it is able to guarantee an efficient collection, storage and recycling service for any type of waste.

Cobat adopts best practices that allow to optimize the costs of managing activities and to reduce emissions into the atmosphere.

The Cobat System assures Producers and Importers the correct end-of-life management of products released for consumption, the indemnification from the principle of extended responsibility for waste management and ensures the best standards of environmental sustainability.

The story of Cobat

Cobat is established as a Mandatory Consortium for the collection and recycling of spent lead accumulators.

Following the Legislative Decree 188/08 that establishes the liberalisation of the market, Cobat from Consorzio Obbligatorio (Mandatory Consortium) is transformed into a multi-purpose collection and recycling system for the collection of technological waste.

The Consortium joins the WEEE Coordination Centre, opening itself to the market of WEEE (waste of electrical and electronic equipment). The same year, in advance of the legislation, the Consortium starts the first Italian supply chain for the collection and recycling of photovoltaic modules..

The Consortium is recognized by the Committee for the Management of End-of-Life Tyres as a qualified entity for the management of End-of-life Tyres from car wreckers.

The Cobat Shareholders' Meeting resolves the division of the Consortium, in compliance with the regulations concerning the publication of the model of the WEEE Statute, in implementation of Legislative Decree no. 49/2014. According to the resolution, Cobat splits and gives rise to: Cobat RAEE, Cobat RIPA, Cobat TYRE.

A 30-year history that speaks of continuous innovation, professionalism and a strong environmental vocation.

Thanks to its leadership in the management of spent batteries and accumulators, Cobat has renewed its identity in this long process, becoming a multi-product consortium able to put its know-how at the service of WEEE, including photovoltaic modules at the end of their life, and worn out tires.

Cobat was established as a Mandatory Consortium for Spent Lead Batteries and Lead Waste. It is established by art. 9-quinquies of the D.L. 397/88 converted with Law 9 november 1988, n.475. Cobat was assigned the function of ensuring the collection and recycling of spent lead batteries throughout the country. The participation to Cobat was mandatory for producers and importers of lead batteries who had to fincance its activities and who paid also an environmental contribution to the Consortium, the amount of which was established by a decree of the Ministry of the Environment.

The results recorded in the first 20 years of activity have confirmed a performance of absolute excellence, which affirms the Italian experience as a world leader: a collection of 200,000 t/year of spent lead batteries, equal to 16,000,000 pieces, data close to 100% of the input to consumption, for a total of about 110 million saved on the national trade balance in the purchase of lead, raw material used essentially to produce new batteries. From 1988 to 2008 Cobat recovered lead equivalent to that extracted from a 20 km long mine.

By Legislative Decree 188/08 and the repeal of the law establishing the Consortium and art. 235 of Legislative Decree no. 152/06, it definitively establishes the end of the obligation of Cobat and the existence of a single consortium for the management of spent lead batteries in Italy. In addition to the regulatory changes foreseen by D.Lgs.188/08, which established a regime of free competition in the sector, the needs of producers have been interested in finding a single interlocutor to whom the end-of-life management of the different products placed on the market can be entrusted, to push Cobat towards this evolution.

Cobat thus becomes a voluntary consortium (the producers register for free choice) and operates on the national territory along with other competing systems. In order to increase its competitiveness, Cobat has amended its articles of association by providing for the possibility of managing any type of waste, except those for which the law does not specifically provide for the existence of mandatory consortia.

Cobat, since its foundation, has been active in promoting respect for the environment, legality and circular economy in Italy and the world. Cobat’s activity has been known by the general public thanks to the spectacular operations of recovery of hazardous waste in the seabed and high mountains.

Among the initiatives promoted and supported by Cobat there are awareness campaigns with the most important environmental associations in the country.

Cobat has launched training and information activities with Legambiente to promote the added value of companies that choose legality and eco-sustainability. Also with the Swan Association it supported the publication of the annual Ecomafie Report and numerous events throughout Italy. The commitment with the Foundation for Sustainable Development and the Circular Economy Network is also constant, without forgetting the promotion of sustainable mobility that also integrates the correct management of spent lithium batteries with Cobat among the first promoters of e-mob, the pioneering e-mobility festival in Italy.

Cobat has also crossed national boundaries, with expeditions that unite the environment with social commitment: in 2002 the operation to recover spent lead batteries lying at the CNR Laboratory Pyramid at 5000 meters above sea level in the Himalayas near Everest Base Camp; in 2005 the Puno Youth Education Campaign in Peru at Lake Titicaca for the construction of hot water distribution facilities; in 2007 and 2008 the installation of solar panels for the Tibetan Children’s Village of Choglamsar in India, which at an altitude of 3500 meters hosts 1500 children between 3 and 17 years, orphans and children of Tibetan refugees in exile; in 2010 the aid for reconstruction in Ladakh (India) of a refugee camp destroyed after a devastating flood.

For these activities, in 2012 the Italian Committee "Carta della Terra" handed over to Giancarlo Morandi, president of Cobat, the gold plate, approved by the International Association of the Earth Charter under the presidency of Mikhail Gorbachev: the award was given to the person who had distinguished himself most for his strong social commitment combined with concrete international actions for sustainable development and environmental protection.Cobat later returned to the roof of the world, with the Top Recycling Mission, in collaboration with the Committee Evk2cnr, to replace the spent batteries and photovoltaic panels of the Laboratory Observatory Pyramid wanted in 1987 by Ardito Desio at an altitude of 5,050 on the Nepalese side of Mount Everest.

With thirty years of experience and commitment, Cobat is today the great Italian platform of the circular economy that looks to the future, works closely with the main technological companies in the country and continues to bet on innovation and research, Today’s products are tomorrow’s waste.