“Batteries are vital to powering our day-to-day lives, but not enough people are aware of the dangers they pose when thrown into kerbside waste and recycling bins,” Ms Saffin said.
“Batteries should never be put in household bins and should instead be dropped off at a battery collection site for recycling.”
Lithium battery fires in homes and in garbage trucks and tips are increasing, with Fire and Rescue NSW responding to around three battery fires a week.
Fire and Rescue NSW data shows that so far this year, NSW has seen a 20% increase in battery-related fire or explosion incidents when comparing the number of fires this year to the first half of last year.
Batteries contain a range of metals including lead, mercury and lithium which are hazardous when dealt with incorrectly.
There are several recycling options available to consumers.
The NSW Government and many councils, including Lismore, Tenterfield, Kyogle and Murwillumbah, have partnered with B-cycle, the national product stewardship scheme for batteries. B-cycle drop off points are available at large retail outlets, like Woolworths, Bunnings, Aldi, IGA and Officeworks.
Community Recycling Centres and Household Chemical CleanOut events also accept batteries so you can now drop off small household batteries at over 1,000 locations across NSW for recycling.
When a battery has reached the end of its life, the terminals should be taped with clear sticky tape. Once taped, batteries can be stored in a cool dry place, out of reach of children, before being taken to B-cycle drop off point or CRC for safe collection and recycling.
Products with batteries embedded in them, like phones, laptops and power tools, should be disposed of at an e-waste recycling facility or e-waste drop-off event.
To find out more about safe battery disposal, visit the EPA’s website.
Monday 14 August 2023