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 per cent 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 per cent of all batteries sold into the market and Switzerland recovers an impressive, but achievable, 72 per cent.
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 per cent 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.
Keep batteries out of reach of children – Button cells (small round batteries) can be swallowed, causing choking or chemical burns.
Be careful of damaged or leaking batteries – Some of the materials inside batteries are toxic and could result in poisoning.
Keep batteries away from sunlight or heat – This may result in leakage of toxic materials.
For more information about the safe collection, storage, transport and handling of used handheld batteries refer to the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative guidelines.
Rid your home of dangerous and toxic waste responsibly, with the free Detox your Home program.
Household paint, batteries and fluorescent lights can be dropped off for free. Check with your local council for details.
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