Through a partnership with Envirostream Australia and Bundaberg Regional Council, a free battery recovery program has been rolled out at all waste facilities, selected customer service centres and libraries.
Envirostream was established in 2017 and provides mixed-battery recycling throughout Australia.
Council’s Waste and Recycling portfolio spokesperson Cr Tanya McLoughlin said there were many reasons why batteries needed to be recycled correctly.
“With the majority of Australia’s battery waste still being sent to landfill fire and environmental risks are increased,” she said.
“We are currently finding one in three bins contain household batteries during scheduled weekly collection.”
To reduce risk of fires during collection and transport, Council is asking customers to either “bag it or tape it” before disposing of batteries into the collection boxes.
- Bag It: Place the batteries in a small zip lock bag.
- Tape It: Tape the end of the battery’s terminals.
Cr McLoughlin said the partnership with Envirostream provided a great opportunity for residents to learn how to recycle their batteries right.
“It is a fantastic initiative to work alongside Envirostream to provide community education on how to safely recycle batteries and opportunities to do so locally,” she said.
“Our aim is to make it easier for the community to recycle batteries and safer for everyone by reducing the number of batteries ending up in general waste bins.”
Envirostream General Manager Commercial Max Lane said the partnership with Council provided the unique opportunity to intercept household battery waste before it ended up in landfill.
“Working with the Bundaberg Regional Council provides an easier opportunity for the community to get involved in battery recycling, knowing that their batteries will be recycled in Australia and put to good use in the future,” Mr Lane said.
“At the moment, around 90% of all handheld batteries in Australia end up in landfill but the main components within the battery are infinitely recyclable if we can divert them from landfill.”
The program includes all batteries except electric vehicle batteries and lead acid batteries, which can be recycled if stored separately.
Electronic waste and mobile phones are also free to recycle at any waste facility.
Cr McLoughlin said currently, only 10 per cent of battery waste was recycled in Australia compared to 44 per cent in Europe.
“This statistic is one that Bundaberg Regional Council is committed to improving with the implementation of strategies including the partnership with Envirostream,” she said.
When batteries aren’t recycled properly, there are a number of consequences:
- Materials in batteries can poison people and animals.
- Batteries contain toxic substances that when ending up in landfill contaminate soils and water and stay in the environment for a long time.
- Batteries can catch fire.
Bundaberg residents can also recycle household batteries at Officeworks and Aldi.
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