Rechargeable batteries contain metals such as cadmium, which can be harmful to the environment. They are classified as hazardous waste and they must not be disposed of with general waste.
Rechargeable batteries commonly contain toxic metals such as nickel-cadmium (NiCad), nickel-metal hydride and lithium-ion, which can harm the environment by contaminating soil and groundwater. Used rechargeable batteries are classified as a hazardous waste under the Hazardous Waste Act 1989 and they must not be disposed of with general waste.
There are a number of collection and/or recycling programs accepting rechargeable batteries.
After batteries are collected, they are sorted by their types and components then sent to licensed recycling facilities in Australia and overseas for processing. The nickel-cadmium, nickel-metal hydride and lithium-ion components in rechargeable batteries can all be recycled. The recovered metals are made into other products, while the cadmium can be returned to battery manufacturers to create a fully closed loop recycling system.