1. How are we maximizing our recycling?

How are we maximizing our recycling?

Hybrid battery recycling

We are often asked if our hybrid batteries need changing and if they damage the  environment when they are disposed of. All the batteries we use in our hybrid electric  vehicles are designed to last as long as the car, thanks to intelligent management systems  that make sure they perform consistently, year after year. 

When they do reach the end of their lifespan, we have a take-back scheme to ensure they are  dealt with safely and responsibly. Currently, we are retrieving more than 90% of our batteries  in Europe through our retailer networks, but we aim to achieve a 100% take-back rate  through all our operations. 

  • Battery Recycling Partners  

    If the hybrid batteries we take back cannot be reused, for example as a replacement battery in another vehicle or as stand-alone units to store power, we work with two highly accomplished and accredited specialist companies which carry out the recycling and disposal process. 



    SNAM, based in France, is responsible for handling our nickel metal-hydride batteries, as used in most of our hybrid electric vehicles, and Umicore, in Belgium, deals with the lithium-ion batteries currently found in the Prius+ and Prius Plug-in models. They both use the latest, state-of-the-art techniques to recover as much material as possible and ensure that no harm is caused to the environment. 

Recycling in our operations

We make sure we collect any waste produced in our manufacturing operations and treat it correctly, avoiding any damage to the environment. Using the right processing methods is key to this. 

In everything we do at Toyota, we never pass on bad quality from one process to the next, and that applies to how we deal with waste as much as the way we run our production lines. If the waste can be sorted at the point where it is made, this makes it easier to handle at the recycling point. 

For example, waste plastic is sorted according to type and colour, so the teams from our waste handling partner, Green Metals, can easily send it on for recycling. Green Metals is a Toyota group company which supports our activities at 21 worldwide locations, sorting, processing and selling our metal and non-metal waste and operating a total waste management programme. 

  • Waste water from our manufacturing painting process can be used in cement factories. 

  • Phosphate sludge from our manufacturing painting process can be used in cement factories. 

  • Loose steel scrap received from the press-shop at Toyota Motor Manufacturing France. 

  • Steel scrap bales handled by magnet and overhead crane. Toyota Motor Manufacturing France.