Australian Battery Recycling Initiative
ABRI's vision is simple: to achieve battery stewardship in Australia

Hazardous waste and dangerous goods regulations for used lead acid batteries

Posted on: October 9th, 2012

ABRI is committed to responsible battery recycling, which includes compliance with hazardous waste and dangerous goods regulations. A brief summary of these regulations and contact details for relevant government agencies can be downloaded here. ABRI members can obtain a more detailed report by emailing secretariat@batteryrecycling.org.au.

Storage of hazardous wastes

All jurisdictions have environmental regulations that place a general duty of care on individuals to protect land, groundwater and the environment (air). ULAB need to be carefully managed to avoid any pollution, for example by storing them under cover and in a bunded area. In some jurisdictions the storage of ULAB requires an EPA licence unless the quantity being stored is below a certain threshold.

Transport of hazardous wastes

A waste transport licence and a waste transport certificate are required for intrastate transport of ULAB in some jurisdictions. Contact your local environmental authority for more information.

Interstate transport of ULAB is governed by a national agreement – the National Environment Protection (Movement of Controlled Waste Between States and Territories) Measure – and administered by state government agencies. The interstate transport of ULAB requires (for each load of batteries):

  • a consignment authorisation from the environmental protection agency in the destination state or territory
  • a waste transport certificate from the agency in the originating state or territory and this must accompany the ULAB load in transit
  • a permit/licence for the vehicle transporting the batteries.

The export of ULAB is regulated by the Australian Government under the Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989, which meets Australia’s obligations under the Basel Convention.  It requires an Export Licence.

Transport of dangerous goods by road and rail

Lead acid batteries are classified as a Dangerous Good under the Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail (ADG Code) – UN No. 2794, Class 8 (corrosive). Any organisation involved in transporting ULAB must comply with the Code.

Storage and handling of dangerous goods

The general obligations for any organisation handling dangerous goods (including ULAB) are outlined in the National Code for Storage and Handling of Workplace Dangerous Goods. There are regulations and codes in each jurisdiction governing the storage and handling of dangerous goods.

To improve national harmonisation, the Model Work Health and Safety Act and Model Work, Health and Safety Regulations were approved by most State and Territory Ministers in 2011. State and territory laws are being amended in most jurisdictions to reflect the model law, with some necessary local amendments.

Packaging standards

ABRI has prepared a packaging standard for ULAB, which can be downloaded here. A standard for motive (forklift) batteries is also being prepared and should be available in early 2013.