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 >
At the same time ALDI is updating its collection bins to place them out of reach of children and to address other operational issues.
More information on ALDI’s program is available here.
Toowoomba has been chosen as the location of Australia’s first industry-run rechargeable battery recycling trial.
The Toowoomba Rechargeable Batteryback Trial is a free program designed to collect and recycle used rechargeable batteries. It will be used to help develop future programs.
Rechargeable batteries contain toxic materials such as lead, lithium and cadmium and can pose a risk to human health and the environment if disposed of inappropriately. The recycling rate for these batteries is considered to be very low since the overall recycling rate for handheld batteries is less than 3%.
The program covers all rechargeable batteries up to 5 kilograms and includes AA, AAA, C and D batteries as well as those found in power tools, computers, mobile phones and other similar devices.
Under the trial program, householders or small businesses can collect their old rechargeable batteries of any brand and drop them in one of 14 locations around the city. Locations include participating council depots, Bunnings Warehouse, Super Cheap Auto, Battery World, Officeworks, BFC, IGA as well as Wilsonton Betta Electrical, the University of Southern Queensland and the local Lifeline store. All the sites are listed at RecyclingNearYou.com.au/Rechargeables.
To ensure the batteries can be transported safely the program has developed a set of simple Safe Disposal Instructions. Individual batteries should be placed in a separate plastic bag or terminals or points of each battery covered in adhesive tape. The batteries will be collected and sorted by battery type or chemistry, and then processed under strict regulations and standards.
The trial program runs until 5th September 2016. The aim of the pilot is to gather feedback from customers about the program and battery recycling generally.
The Rechargeable Batteryback trial is an initiative of the Battery Industry Working Group (BIWG) and the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, who are also funding partners. “This project is a very important step towards the establishment of a national program” says Helen Lewis, Chief Executive of the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative (ABRI) who commended all of the industry and government partners for supporting the trial. “The
positive engagement of Toowoomba Regional Council, local retailers, battery manufacturers, Lifeline and the Queensland Government will help to ensure that it’s a success”.
ABRI, Infoactiv, MRI and Planet Ark, are working together to deliver this program on behalf
of the Queensland DEHP and BIWG.
The Battery Industry Working Group (IWG) has met five times since it was formed in 2015. The aim of the IWG is to design a voluntary national stewardship program for handheld rechargeable batteries. It is co-chaired by Rose Read (formerly AMTA and currently with MRI Drop Zone) in an independent capacity and Rowan Hodge (Battery World).
The rechargeable battery program will fit under an overarching battery product stewardship scheme.
There may be several programs under the scheme, for example batteries collected as part of existing e-waste or mobile phone programs and mixed rechargeable battery collections. Performance indicators, a reporting framework, communication and data collection will be established under the scheme to provide for consistent information and messaging.
Two pilot programs are currently underway to inform the national process:
– The power tool battery recycling pilot, which was launched on Father’s Day 2015 and will run until the end of June 2016. Power tool batteries are being collected at 19 hardware store locations in the Brisbane metropolitan area.
– The emergency lighting batteries program launched in October 2015, which is being managed by the Lighting Council Australia. This is collecting and recycling emergency lighting batteries from commercial buildings.
A third trial is proposed to be held in mid-2016 in Queensland to collect further information on costs, the ability of consumers to separate rechargeable from primary batteries, battery brands, the mix of battery chemistries, and dangerous goods compliance.
A progress report will be provided to Environment Ministers in mid-2016 with a final report due for the last meeting of 2016 or first meeting 2017.
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