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.
Batteryback™ is a free Victorian Government service that recycles old and used household batteries collected at permanent drop-off sites.
Batteryback™ collects all domestic alkaline (single use) and rechargeable batteries including Nickel Cadmium (NiCd), Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) and Lithium Ion (Li-Ion). These batteries can be found in:
- 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?
Currently, less than 3% of all batteries purchased in Australia are recycled, the rest going to landfill. 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 by Batteryback(TM)?
After collection batteries are sorted by chemistry type. They are then sent on to the respective recyclers in Australia and overseas. Australia currently does not have the technology and services required to recycle rechargeable and single use batteries so they will be processed overseas by a company specialising in the recovery of nickel, cadmium, lithium, zinc and other precious resources to strict environmental standards.
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 Batteryback™?
No. The service is available to householders only. Businesses can still recycle their rechargeable batteries by pre-purchasing a battery recycling box from Transpacific or SITA. Battery World, Close the Loop Ltd, Infoactiv Group Pty Ltd, MRI (Aust) Pty Ltd, orbitas resource recovery, Tes-Amm and CMAEcocycle also provide battery recycling services to businesses.
Safe handling guidelines
The following documents provide safe handling, transport and storage guidelines for used domestic batteries.