The European Economic Community (EEC) introduced a very clear Directive (157/91) aimed at solving the problem of collecting and recycling scrap accumulators and lead/acid batteries. This waste has a potentially harmful effect on the environment if the recycling process is not carried out correctly at all stages. COBAT is a Consortium created in 1990 in order to meet the requirements of the Italian law 475/88 which preceded the above-mentioned EEC Directive. This Consortium has a broad basis comprising all sectors involved in the battery cycle life (battery producers, battery fitters, collectors and recyclers). So far the organization, using the following approach has had very positive results since its inception three years ago. The public sector, representatives from the Environmental Ministry and the Ministry of Industry are responsible for supplying guidelines and the overall supervision, whereas the private sector is in charge of the organization and the enforcement of the law. This paper explains in detail the structure and tasks of COBAT, and will proceed on to explain how COBAT is organized and how the collection network and recycling plants work. The economical aspects will be examined in detail, and emphasis will be put on how little the public will have to pay in order to safeguard the environment, and the harmful effect of a competitively run regime to the ecosystem.