As Christmas is approching and many households will have new gadgets with batteries.
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:
• reduce landfill
• reduce the use of finite natural resources in the production of new batteries
• remove toxic and hazardous substances from landfill (particularly lead, cadmium and mercury that may contaminate soil and groundwater)
• minimise the risk of explosions or fires as a result of inappropriately stored or disposed of lithium metal batteries.
How to recycle batteries
With not much effort used batteries can be collected and dropped of at collection points in the Latrobe City at no cost, with more enviromently awareness there might be more drop-off points we are not aware of:
• Aldi stores
• Morwell Transfer Station
Which batteries can be recycled through permanent drop-off sites?
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:
cordless phones, cordless power tools, digital cameras, hearing aids, laptop computers, mobile phones, palm pilots, portable disc players, portable electric shavers, portable video games, remote controlled toys, video cameras.
Batteries and landfill
Less than three 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.
What happens to recycled batteries?
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: cadmium, lithium, nickel, silver oxide, zinc.
What about rechargeable batteries?
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:
save you money, reduce the use of finite natural resources in the production of batteries, divert from landfill and resulting contamination of soil and groundwater.
Remember that it’s also important to
recycle your rechargeable batteries.
Safe handling guidelines:
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:
This article is based of information from https://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au and http://www.latrobe.vic.gov.au