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How to recycle batteries


If you take a look around your home you’d be surprised to see just how many batteries are used in household items.

In the USA alone 3 billion batteries are purchased annually and most of these are thrown away. Globally it's estimated that 10 billion are purchased yearly. That's a lot of batteries!

There are a wide range of battery types, many of which contain toxic metals such as cadmium, mercury and lead. Others contain valuable materials like magnesium and zinc. Batteries can be processed to recover plastics and metals, some of which are used to manufacture new batteries.
Used rechargeable batteries are a hazardous waste and should not be placed in the garbage bin. This includes batteries in laptops, mobile phones, power tools and cameras.

Buying rechargeable batteries is a great way to reduce battery waste. Each battery can be recharged up to 1000 times, saving you money and reducing pollution from discarded batteries. The best thing to do is to reduce battery usage by connecting appliances to the main power where possible.

Unfortunately, Australia does not have an official recycling program for batteries. There are a few collection services run by Planet Ark, some stores like Battery World, run collection programs and there also is an organization called ‘The Australian Battery Recycling Initiative’ (ABRI) which has been formed by a group of battery manufacturers, recyclers, retailers, government bodies and environment groups to promote the collection, recycling and safe disposal of all batteries.

To find out how to recycle your batteries visit these websites:

For further information read the Planet Ark's Battery Recycling Factsheet for further information on battery composition and recycling.

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