February 21, 2022
Got a drawer full of used, dead batteries? Who doesn’t?! Now it’s easier than ever to recycle them with a new battery recycling scheme for all Australians.
B-cycle, the newest product stewardship scheme available to everyday Australians, has launched. It provides convenient, safe, and free (except for some commercial services) battery recycling options to counteract what has often been a direct-to-landfill waste stream in the past.
Run by the Battery Stewardship Council, B-cycle will ensure the production, distribution, and recycling of batteries is managed sustainably in Australia. The program will manage a voluntary group of battery retailers, importers, and producers who are taking responsibility for these products and making the recycling process more accessible for Australian households and businesses.
Free drop-off points are available at various retailers, supermarkets, and local government facilities for consumers to safely and responsibly dispose of their used batteries. You can search for your closest drop-off location using Recycling Near You.
This new scheme will:
provide more recycling drop-off points for batteries and improve accessibility to collection services (many of which are free)
create a system of accountability to ensure responsible service
reduce the environmental impact of batteries sent to landfill
conserve valuable resources by keeping materials in use for longer
prevent fires in recycling trucks and facilities by educating the public on how to safely recycle batteries.
Recycling your old batteries ensures we make the most of the materials we have already extracted. This means new materials will not have to be mined to make new batteries and other products, which in turn reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
Up to 95 per cent of the materials in old batteries can be reused in manufacturing projects. Some of these materials are even used to make new lithium-ion batteries.
Many types of batteries also contain hazardous materials which can degrade in landfill (or even in your home, if stored improperly). When batteries degrade, they release toxic chemicals that can leach into soil or waterways. Batteries also pose a significant fire risk if they are not disposed of or stored responsibly.
Batteries should never be put in recycling or garbage bins unless they are specialised collection bins for batteries. Rechargeable batteries and lithium-ion batteries are hazardous and could produce sparks that could potentially start a fire in the truck or recycling facility. This includes batteries in laptops, mobile phones, power tools and cameras.
Tape your terminals
Put sticky tape, duct tape, or electrical tape over the battery ‘terminal’ (the electrical connection point of the battery) to prevent them from causing a spark. They are located in different areas depending on the type of battery (at both ends of regular batteries, for example).
Use clear tape on both sides of button batteries to ensure the recycler can identify the battery type.
Store batteries safely at home or work
Store used batteries in a clearly labeled glass container. Make sure the container is not airtight, as pressure can build up.
Don’t store batteries in a metal container, or with metal objects, as they can spark and create a fire.
Put sticky tape over the battery terminals before disposing of them or storing them.
Keep batteries in a cool, dry place, away from heat sources like stoves.
Keep batteries away from children, especially small batteries that can be swallowed, like button batteries.
For more safety tips, visit B-cycle.
You can also get your workplace or business involved by purchasing a safe and secure recycling collection box through Batteries 4 Planet Ark. The recycling program is accredited by B-cycle and includes a pick-up service when the box is full.
Your workplace can also search Business Recycling for recycling options including drop-off and pick-up services in your area.
Nick joined Planet Ark in 2021 coming from a background of graphic design and marketing communications. A self-described “jack-of-all-trades’, Nick likes to channel his helpful nature and enthusiasm for change in all aspects of life from his social life and work to his community volunteering.