Author: Brad Gray
Residents in Toowoomba can recycle their used rechargeable batterys - free of charge – as part of a trial program.
The Toowoomba Rechargeable Batteryback Trial is an Australian first industry-run program that will help inform the potential development of a national program. The program runs until 5th September 2016.
Rechargeable batteries have significant environmental benefits in the fact that they can be used over and over, meaning the resources that go into making them are fully utilised. However, they often contain hazardous materials like lead, lithium and cadmium, which can pose a risk to human health and the environment if disposed of inappropriately. That means they shouldn’t be disposed of in the general waste or landfill bin.
Recycling has a dual benefit. It reduces the need to extract new, non-renewable, resources from the planet and it keeps toxic materials from getting into the environment. Australia has no national battery-recycling program so it is difficult to say exactly how many are collected for recycling. The overall recycling rate for handheld batteries is less than 3%.
Residents and small businesses can recycle any rechargeable battery - up to 5 kilograms - including AA, AAA, C and D batteries as well as those found in power tools, computers, mobile phones and other similar devices. To ensure the batteries can be transported safely the program has developed a set of simple Safe Disposal Instructions. Residents should place individual batteries in a separate plastic bag or terminals or points of each battery covered in adhesive tape.
Rechargeable batteries of any brand can be dropped off at any of the 14 locations around Toowoomba. All sites are listed on RecyclingNearYou.
The trial program runs until 5th September 2016. For more information visit www.RecyclingNearYou.com.au/Rechargeables.
Brad was Planet Ark's Head of Campaigns for 10 years. He trained and worked as a history and geography teacher before moving into the health education sector for 14 years. With a strong passion for human environments, Brad started with Planet Ark in 2007 as Recycling Programs Manager.