Battery Rescue’s Dry Cell Battery Recycling Service
Battery Rescue wants to make a valuable contribute to increasing our recycling rates of dry cell batteries and reduce their impact to humans and the environment. We have recently launched (Sept 2019) our waste dry cell battery recycling service, where by we will supply, FREE of charge, our Dry Cell Box (DCB), to Western Australian Businesses, Government Departments & Organisations, that accumulate dry cell batteries (also known as handheld and portable batteries).
When the dry cell box is full Customer’s can request collection at www.batteryrescue.com.au/collect.
The collected dry cell batteries are shipped to Envirostream, (www.envirostream.com.au) for recycling in Melbourne, where the batteries will be correctly recycled and not disposed of to landfill or shipped overseas for processing.
ATTENTION: Western Australian Household Residents
Don’t know how to correctly dispose of your dry cell batteries? Most Shire Council Waste Sites, Library’s, Shopping Centres & Battery World Stores accept used dry cell batteries for recycling. DO NOT THROW YOUR BATTERIES IN YOUR RUBBISH BIN – THEY WILL END UP IN LANDFILL & POLLUTE OUR WATERWAYS & ENVIRONMENT or CAUSE A TOXIC FIRE.
For your Used Car Batteries, see our Drop’n’Go locations to correctly dispose of your Car Battery & other types of Lead Acid Batteries.
Pricing for Dry Cell Battery Recycling Service
Existing Battery Rescue Customers
If Battery Rescue currently collect your used lead acid batteries, we will, FREE of charge;
- Deliver our DCB to your premises.
- Collect the DCB when full and supply an exchange DCB.
- Arrange for the recycling of the dry cell batteries (at our cost).
Note: An annual limit of 20kg applies. For quantities greater than 20kg, a recycling fee of $2.50 will apply (the collection fee will be waived).
Non-Battery Rescue Customers
For non-Battery Rescue customers, the following charges will apply;
- $2.50 per kg of Dry Cell Batteries (Mixed)*
- $60 metro Perth collection fee
*Prices charged for Dry Cell Batteries by specific type are available on request and are usually less for some chemistry types (e.g. Lithium & Lithium Ion, Alkaline, Nickel Metal Hydride).
How to Use the Battery Rescue Dry Cell Box
The Dry Cell Box (DCB) will usually be delivered flat packed.
- When received simply erect the box and tape the join, end to end, at the bottom of the box. Please use transparent tape at least 48mm wide, so that the writing on the box is still visible and to provide adequate support when the box is full.
- When full, Tick Appropriate Box on the front. Either “MIXED” or the relevant chemistry (Alkaline, Nickel Cadmium, Lithium etc)
- Seal the top of the box with transparent tape at least 48mm wide & record your details under the Shipped By area.
- Unless other arrangements are in place go to www.batteryrescue.com.au/collect to request a collection and delivery of an empty replacement DCB.
Note: If you are certain your box contains no lithium batteries, then you can cover the Lithium DG Markings with paper or non transparent tape.
Battery Regulations and How it Influenced the Design of Our Dry Cell Box
Most used dry cell batteries are classified as a Controlled Hazardous Waste and some are also Dangerous Goods, depending upon the battery’s chemistry.
It is often difficult to easily determine the chemistry of a dry cell or portable battery. To illustrate, the photo below shows 3 AAA batteries, one is a hazardous waste, one a dangerous good and one is neither and considered to be non toxic. Do you know which is which?
The lithium battery (Energiser Lithium Ultimate) is a dangerous good (UN 3090), the Alkaline battery (Duracell) is a controlled hazardous waste and the zinc-carbon battery (Eveready) is neither.
So do we really need to know which is which… well the short answer is YES. The Lithium battery is classified as a dangerous good and hence its storage & transportation are governed by Australian Dangerous Good Regulations. Lithium & Lithium ion batteries are believed to be responsible for the recent spate of fires at waste facilities around the world. And while it’s permissible under the Australian Code for Transportation of Dangerous Goods (ADGC), to transport mixed battery chemistries together, if there is a single Lithium or Lithium Ion battery present, then the shipment must be treated as a DG shipment of Lithium Batteries. There are very few businesses involved in battery collection & recycling that seem to be aware of this requirement.
Furthermore the ADGC stipulates that for shipments containing Lithium batteries, quantities greater than 30kg must be in a UN certfied DG Drum, Box or Jerrican. This also appears to be a poorly understood requirement or conveniently ignored by the industry. For this reason and for safe ergonomic lifting, Battery Rescue’s DCB was designed to hold approximately 20kg of dry cells when full.
But is it realistic to expect people to closely examine the battery’s label to try and determine the chemistry and separate them. If current behaviours are anything to go by, we suspect not.
We believe that most people will dispose of all types of dry cell batteries into the box, which more often than not will include some Lithium batteries. For this reason we have included the necessary Dangerous Good’s markings for Lithium Batteries, on the box. If the customer is certain their shipment contains no lithium batteries they can easily cover these markings with tape or paper.
Why Is Battery Recycling Important?
Battery recycling protects humans and the environment from toxic substances, helps us preserve finite resources used in the production of dry cell batteries and reduces the environmental impact of mining.
In Australia in 2012-13 an estimated 14,703 Tonnes of dry cell or portable batteries were disposed of with only 403 Tonnes collected for recycling. The remaining 14,345 Tonnes were disposed to landfill*
* Recycling figures based on the study commissioned by the NEPC Service Corporation – “Study into market share and stocks and flows of handheld batteries in Australia”
The Toxic Impact of Dry Cell Batteries
There are a wide variety of handheld batteries, most contain chemicals that are toxic to both humans and the environment. Common metals used include cadmium, lead, zinc, manganese, nickel, silver, mercury, and lithium, as well as acidic and alkaline electrolytes. Many of these batteries are classified as Dangerous Goods and/or Hazardous Wastes. The majority of these batteries are going to landfill where these toxic materials leach into the soil and water systems. These materials can adversely impact the health of plants, animals and humans.
Australia’s Recycling Performance Compared to Other Countries
A report commissioned by the Australian Government in 2014, highlighted a dismal recycling rate for handheld batteries (weighing less than 5kg), of just 2.7%. By comparison recycling rates in Europe average 44% with Belgium achieving an impressive 70.6%.
And It’s Only Going to Get Worse…
The pollution and environmental impact caused by poor recycling of dry cell batteries is only going to get worse with exponential growth forecast for batteries limited only by the availability of raw materials.
Battery Rescue’s Mission
Battery Rescue want make a valuable contribution to reducing the dangers and impact on the environment caused by the unsafe and illegal transportation, storage and disposal of all types of batteries.
We hope the Dry Cell Box will help improve Australia’s appalling recycling rates for dry cell batteries but also call on the Australian Government to implement a national Battery Stewardship scheme to further support the recycling of all battery chemistries.
We developed the Dry Cell Battery Box to complement our used lead acid battery collection service, which uses our unique Battery Transport & Storage (BTS) Container.