Household batteries can be recycled by dropping them at either of the following:
Permanent drop-off sites
Permanent drop-off sites are typically located at council depots and transfer stations across Victoria. They are generally open all year round.
Find your nearest permanent drop-off site for batteries.
Most types of batteries under 5kg can be dropped off, including all domestic alkaline (single use) and rechargeable batteries.
These batteries can be found in but not limited to:
- mobile phones
- video cameras
- digital cameras
- hearing aids
- cordless phones
- portable electric shavers
- cordless power tools
- laptop computers
- palm pilots
- remote controlled toys
- portable video games
- portable disc players
Why should batteries be recycled?
Batteries are a risk to human health and the environment if disposed of inappropriately. They also contain valuable metals such as cadmium, zinc, manganese, cobalt and rare earth metals that may be recovered to reduce the use of finite natural resources.
Currently, less than 3% of all batteries purchased in Australia are recycled, the rest going to landfill. This equates to over 14 kt of batteries destined to landfill each year. Australia’s performance compares very poorly with overseas jurisdictions where much higher recovery rates are achieved. France for example recovers 36% of all batteries sold into the market and Switzerland recovers a staggering 72%.
Battery recycling allows the non-renewable resources in batteries to be recovered. It removes toxic and hazardous substances from landfill, particularly lead, cadmium and mercury that may contaminate groundwater. Lithium metal batteries can cause explosions or fires if inappropriately stored or disposed.
What happens to the batteries collected?
After collection batteries are sorted by chemistry type. They are then sent on to the respective recyclers in Australia and overseas.
Are rechargeable batteries better for the environment?
Australians use approximately 10,000 tonnes of domestic batteries every year, approximately 70% are single-use batteries and most end up in landfill. If not disposed of correctly, batteries can contaminate soil, groundwater and other waste streams. Rechargeable batteries can be recharged hundreds of times, so not only do they save you money, but through effective recycling can reduce waste, reduce natural resource use and reduce the greenhouse gasses associated in extraction of these resources.
Can businesses use this service?
No. The service is available to householders only. Businesses can still recycle their rechargeable batteries. Please check the http://www.batteryrecycling.org.au/home website for more information.
Safe handling guidelines
Used batteries are potentially hazardous, so they need to be stored and handled carefully. They need to be kept out of reach of children. Button cells (small round batteries) can be swallowed, causing choking or chemical burns. Some of the materials inside batteries are toxic, so you need to be careful of damaged or leaking batteries. Batteries must be kept away from sunlight or heat.
Go to the ABRI website for safe handling, transport and storage guidelines for used domestic batteries.