West Australians dispose of an estimated 18 million batteries per year. This is a lot of batteries and most of these end up in landfill. The dry cell battery recycling program is all about trying to change this and through this program Western Australia is now the largest recycler of dry cell batteries in Australia
Why the recycling of dry cell batteries is important
As useful as batteries are they unfortunately can contain toxic substances which can be harmful if released into the environment. They also contain valuable metals that can be recycled, so what a waste it is to discard them into landfill.
Batteries should not to be disposed of in the general household rubbish green lid bin. Batteries placed in these bins may end up at a composting facility and cause contamination.
They also won’t be recycled if they go into the yellow top recycling bin as the processes at these recycling plants don’t recycle items like batteries.
Battery collection programs: community and schools
In order to ensure batteries are disposed of correctly and can be sent for recycling, the MRC administers a Battery Collection Program for public places and for schools in the Cities of Wanneroo, Joondalup, Stirling, Perth, Vincent and the Towns of Cambridge and Victoria Park. This initiative is administered in co-ordination with the other four metropolitan regional councils and is supported by the Waste Authority.
So how and where can I dispose of batteries?
What batteries can be collected?
What happens to the batteries?
- AA and AAA cells (single use & rechargeable batteries)
- C and D sized batteries
- Button batteries (e.g. from watches)
- 9V batteries
- 6V batteries (e.g. lantern/torch batteries)
The batteries are stored at Tamala Park and regularly combined with a metropolitan-wide shipment sent to a specialised facility in Australia for sorting. The batteries are then exported to battery recycling facilities where the components and metals are separated, melted and are then recycled into new products such as street lights, new batteries, car parts and steel frames for houses.
The people of Perth have embraced the recycling of batteries with tonnes of batteries collected each year across the Perth metropolitan area and sent for recycling.
What can I do with other types of batteries?
Lead acid batteries, such as car batteries, and mobile phone batteries can be disposed of at:
What else can I do to help?
- Check to see if you already have batteries on hand before purchasing more.
- When appropriate, buy hand operated items that function without batteries.
- Look for batteries that have less mercury and other heavy metals.
- Consider using rechargeable batteries (also known as secondary batteries) and battery chargers (only for rechargeable batteries).