What to do with used batteries: all you need to know

Did you know used batteries can cause fires in rubbish trucks if not disposed of the right way?

Never bin your batteries – it only takes one to spark a fire.

Luckily, it’s easy to dispose of batteries safely, with free drop off at more than 40 Sunshine Coast locations.

From supermarkets and hardware stores to Sunshine Coast Council’s Resource Recovery Centres, visit recyclemate.com.au to find the location closest to you.

Sunshine Coast Council’s Environment and Liveability Portfolio Councillor Maria Suarez said it was good for our community and our environment to recycle batteries.

“Battery-powered devices make our lives easier and more convenient,” Cr Suarez said.

“From smartphones and laptops to electric toothbrushes and toys, batteries are everywhere.

“When a battery has reached the end of its life, don’t put it in your kerbside bin – return it to a designated drop off point instead.

“The improper disposal of batteries and battery-powered devices in kerbside bins poses significant environmental and safety hazards.”

It’s easy to safely dispose of your batteries – use an old glass jar to store your used batteries in, fill it with your used batteries, and then once a month, return the used batteries to a drop off location near you.

Cr Suarez said batteries could cause fires in the rubbish trucks putting the driver, truck and our community at risk.

“Batteries pose a serious fire hazard when disposed in your bins at home,” Cr Suarez said.

“When batteries or battery-powered devices are crushed in the back of a waste collection truck they can ignite and cause an explosive fire.

“There have been 15 truck fires on the Sunshine Coast over the past two years.

“Battery fires are not only dangerous but also difficult to control, posing a risk to waste management workers and our community.”

Cr Suarez said batteries contained valuable metals that could be recovered and reused again and again.

“Up to 95 per cent of a battery is recovered when taken to a drop off location,” Cr Suarez said.

“Batteries are made of finite resources so it’s good for our environment to continue to reuse these resources in the circular economy.”

There are a range of industrial applications for the recovered materials including agricultural fertilisers, new batteries steel making, concrete and construction.

Recycling old batteries reduces the need for raw material mining, minimises environmental pollution and conserves resources.

Whatever the battery or device, using Recycle Mate is the easiest option to find out where to take your battery or battery powered device.

Simply search your item and you’ll be given information on the best disposal option that’s nearest to you. Visit recyclemate.com.au to begin your search.

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