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 >
Readers are invited to take part in a short survey to inform the development of a pilot project on the collection and recycling of coin and button cell batteries. The survey will ask questions on how batteries are used, stored and disposed of in your household.
Every week around 20 children ingest a button or coin cell battery. These are the small round batteries commonly used in many devices such as watches, calculators, pacemakers, hearing aids, and electronic toys.
The ingestion of coin cells in particular can be particularly dangerous due to chemical burns caused by residual charge in the battery. In November 2015 The Queensland Coroner published his report into the death of Summer Steer, who died in 2013 after swallowing a 2cm lithium coin battery. The Coroner’s report included a recommendation for a national battery disposal/recycling system for all handheld batteries and the provision of practical advice to the public about household storage and transport of handheld batteries to disposal centres.
This survey is being undertaken by the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) for a project investigating new business models for battery recycling. The project is led by the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative (ABRI) who received a grant from the NSW Environmental Trust. The other project partners include the Hearing Care Industry Association, Australia Post and Kidsafe ACT. Support for the project has also been received from the Queensland Injury Surveillance Unit, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Consumer Electronics Suppliers Association (CESA).
Registrations are now open for the Lithium-ion battery forum organised by the Clean Energy Council and the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative to provide information on responsible transport, storage and recycling of Li-ion batteries. The forum will be held on Wednesday 15 June in Melbourne.
Keynote speakers and panel members will present on:
• projections for Li-ion battery use and disposal to 2030
• transport and storage regulations
• options for recycling batteries at end of life
• regulatory and infrastructure gaps.
This will be followed by an optional half-day training course on transporting Li-ion batteries. The objective of the training is to raise awareness of Dangerous Goods (DG) transport requirements among battery manufacturers, installers, collectors and recyclers. Participants will receive a Certificate of Attendance and those requiring more detailed training and a qualification in DG transport will be directed to the most appropriate follow-up course. The course will cover:
• Road and rail transport – changes to ADG 7.4 and packaging implications
• Sea transport – IMDG including recent updates
• Air transport – Australian and international regulations and airline requirements.
Register here. Attendees have the option of registering for the morning forum, the afternoon training, or the whole day (ABRI and CEC members will receive a discount on their registration).
The full program will be published shortly.
ABRI has received funding from the NSW Environmental Trust to investigate new business models for the collection, recycling and disposal of used batteries. The focus is on safe disposal or recycling of small disc-shaped batteries used in a wide range of products including hearing aids, watches, toys, promotional items, cameras, car keys, remote controls etc. The smallest of these (less than 12mm), including those in hearing aids, are commonly referred to as ‘button cells’, while the larger ones (generally more than 20mm) are referred to as ‘coin cells’.
Both types of batteries are a safety hazard for small children due to the risks associated with ingestion. Around five children present to an emergency department each week in Australia with an injury related to a button or coin cell. The most hazardous batteries are lithium coin cells, which can cause serious or fatal injury due to their size (which means they can easily lodge in the oesophagus) and chemical burns caused by residual charge in the battery.
This project will design child-safe collection containers for used button and coin cell batteries to improve the safety of battery recycling. The first concepts will be presented by designer David Flynn to steering committee members at their meeting on 22 April. One or more of these concepts will proceed to prototyping and will be tested through a series of collection trials in Sydney. The results are expected to be available in December 2016.
The 12-month project is being undertaken in conjunction with a range of partners including the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF), Kidsafe, ACCC and the Hearing Care Industry Association.
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