The Australian Battery Recycling Initiative (ABRI) 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.
ABRI’s role includes research, advocacy, education and stakeholder engagement to promote safe and environmentally responsible recycling of all batteries at end of life….More >
The Minister for Environment Greg Hunt has approved only two priority products under the Product Stewardship Act for 2015-16. These are:
– waste architectural and decorative paint
– batteries weighing less than 5kg.
‘Priority products’ are those for which the Minister will consider, during 2015-2016, whether some form of accreditation or regulation under the Act might be appropriate. According to the statement on the Department’s website, ‘Both classes of products listed were previously listed in 2013-2014 and 2014-2015. These classes of products remain the highest priorities for consideration of possible product stewardship approaches and therefore they are listed again.’
Work on the development of a national paint stewardship program is well advanced with strong support from manufacturers through the Australian Paint Manufacturers’ Federation. Negotiations on a national battery stewardship scheme are continuing.
ABRI has received funding support from the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage (DEHP) to run a recycling trial for used power tool batteries in Brisbane. The project will collected used batteries from leading hardware retailers in the Greater Brisbane area, and is expected to commence in September 2015. Quotes for the collection service are currently being sought. ABRI greatly appreciates the support of the Queensland Government and ABRI corporate member Robert Bosch (Australia) Pty Ltd for this project.
This is the first of several action research projects that ABRI will use to inform the development of a national stewardship program for all handheld batteries. The initial focus is on some of the most hazardous batteries, including nickel cadmium (NiCd) batteries in power tools and emergency lighting. Button cells are also a high priority because of the safety risks from ingestion by small children. Pilot projects are being used by ABRI and its partners to collect information on costs, to understand any operational issues, and to gather feedback from consumers and retailers.
Relectrify is a Melbourne-based startup company commercialising stationary battery systems based on old battery cells from laptops, hybrid or electric cars. Their developed technology circumvents issues typically caused by cell-to-cell capacity variations. The company is part of the Melbourne University Accelerator Program and will start raising seed funding in the next few months. They are keen to talk to potential partner companies regarding sourcing and generating value from used batteries of laptop-size or larger (preferably Li-ion). Any interest, please contact Co-Founder Valentin Muenzel on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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