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 through recycling.
Recycle your batteries to:
Household batteries can easily be recycled at no cost by dropping them off at:
Permanent drop-off sites are for Victorian households only. Businesses can get more information on battery recycling through the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative.
Most batteries under 5kg can be dropped off, including all domestic alkaline (single use) and rechargeable batteries. These batteries are found in many household appliances and personal devices such as:
Less than 3% of all batteries purchased in Australia are currently recycled, the rest are sadly going to landfill. This means that over 14000 tons of batteries are destined for landfill each year. Australia’s performance compares very poorly with the recovery rates of other counties. France recovers 36% of all batteries sold into the market and Switzerland recovers an impressive, but achievable, 72%.
After collection, batteries are sorted by chemistry type. They are sent on to the respective recyclers in Australia and overseas. Precious materials and resources are recovered from the batteries, including:
Approximately 70% of batteries sold each year in Australia are single-use batteries, and most of them end up in landfill. Rechargeable batteries can be recharged hundreds of times, making them an ideal choice because they:
Remember that it's also important to recycle your rechargeable batteries.
Used batteries are potentially hazardous, so they need to be stored and handled carefully.
For more information about the safe collection, storage, transport and handling of used handheld batteries refer to the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative guidelines.