Australians buy enough batteries to circle planet Earth 2.3 times.
For years, 90% of these batteries have been going to landfill.
This is a big problem because batteries should never be placed in any regular rubbish or recycling bins where they can create sparks and ignite fires in the bin, in transport trucks or at the landfill. All batteries eventually corrode, and their hazardous contents end up in soils and waterways, causing damage to wildlife and people.
North East Waste and seven Northern Rivers councils are working with Australia’s official battery recycling scheme B-cycle to encourage people to correctly recycle any used batteries including from items such as power tools and toys.
North East Waste project coordinator Karen Rudkin said B-cycle created a more responsible battery lifecycle.
“This because as a national, government-backed scheme it brings together everyone from importers and retailers to everyday Australians to prevent unsafe battery disposal and stop batteries going to waste,” Ms Rudkin said.
“Some confusion may come from the fact that some batteries are sold as reusable or rechargeable, however under no circumstances do they or any other battery belong in the kerbside recycling or waste stream at their end of life.”
Lithium ion (rechargeable) batteries are of particular concern due to their high volatility and their increasing use in many everyday appliances.
Here’s how to dispose of used batteries safely.
• Remove batteries from appliance (if not embedded)
• Tape the terminals of batteries to prevent risk of fire
• Put them in a glass container and keep out of reach of children
• B-cycle them at the nearest drop-off point located at your council’s Community Recycling Centre or drop off station.
For further safety and drop off location information visit here.
This project is a NSW Environment Protection Authority Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy initiative, funded from the waste levy.
This story is part of a paid promotion by North East Waste.