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					Battery Recycling Fact Sheet
May 2010

 Battery Recycling
 A record number of batteries are being used in a wide range of technologies including
 mobile phones, laptops, personal organisers, cars, alarms and clocks. Single-use batteries
 have significant environmental impacts at every stage of their life-cycle.

 The Problem

 Types of batteries                            Environmental Impacts                                   Did you know?

 Primary batteries are the most                Batteries are the most common form of                   Although batteries are
 common household battery. They are            household hazardous waste 2.                            recyclable, 97% end up in
 also known as single-use batteries                                                                    landfill. That’s about 8000
 because they cannot be recycled, and          But the environmental impact of                         tonnes each year! 2
 are disposed of after use.                    batteries is not limited to the waste
                                               stream. Environmental impacts occur in                  Batteries are sent overseas for
 These batteries automatically convert         the production, distribution and end-of-                recycling 2. The Australian
 chemical energy into electrical energy        life phases of the battery life cycle.                  Battery Recycling Initiative is
 using zinc and manganese chemistry.                                                                   working towards establishing
                                               Production                                              battery recycling facilities in
 Secondary batteries are also known                                                                    Australia 4.
 as rechargeable batteries because             Mineral resources must be extracted to
 they can be used repeatedly upon              produce batteries. Mining is energy-                    The Sanyo Eneloop battery is a
 being recharged.                              intensive and requires the burning of                   secondary battery that can be
                                               large amounts of fossil fuels. As well as               recharged up to 1000 times! It
 Recharging occurs when electrical             contributing to global warming, mining                  does not need charging prior to
 current is applied to the battery,            can also destroy wildlife habitat and                   use 5.
 reversing the chemical reactions that         create air and water pollution.
 occur during battery use.                                                                             Electronic waste is growing at 3
                                               Distribution                                            times the rate of general
 Secondary batteries are usually                                                                       household waste in Australia 3.
 composed of nickel cadmium, nickel            Hundreds of millions of batteries are
 metal hydride or lithium ion chemistry.       imported each year and transported to
                                               warehouses, shops, homes and
 Lead-acid batteries are the oldest            workplaces 3. Fossil fuels are burned to
 type of secondary battery 1.                  create energy for transport and natural
                                               areas are cleared to build infrastructure.
 These batteries are typically used to         Plastic packaging is often used to
 power vehicles.                               package batteries. Plastic is made from
                                               fossil fuels.


                                               In landfill, the chemicals inside batteries
                                               can leach from their casings and pollute
                                               land and water with heavy metals that
                                               are toxic to life.

                                               If placed in household recycling, a
                                               battery can leach chemicals. One battery
                                               can contaminate the contents of a
                                               recycling container.

                                                   Clean Up Australia Ltd
                            ABN 93 003 884 991 PO Box R725, Royal Exchange NSW 1225 Australia
                        tel: 1800 CUA DAY    email:   web:
                                            Clean Up Australia Limited
                                                ABN 93 003 884 991
Battery Recycling Fact Sheet
May 2010

  Battery Recycling

  The Solution

What can you do?                               Where can you recycle batteries?                           References
                                                                                                          .1 Energy Matters, “Deep Cycle
Recycle Batteries                                                                                         Battery Guide”
Keep batteries out of the waste stream.                  Battery recycling services             
                                                SITA                              enewable-energy/batteries/
Make sure you return used batteries to          Batteryworld
the appropriate collection points for           Cleanaway                  2. Battery World, “Battery
recycling.                                                                                                Recycling”
                                                Local          Check with your local council    
Choose Secondary Batteries                      council                                                   p/index.asp?pgid=11219&cid=6466
The vast majority of batteries in landfill
                                                Clean Up
are primary batteries that have been
used once only prior to disposal.               Mobile                                                    3. Australian Bureau of Statistics,
                                                                                                          “Feature Article - Solid Waste in
                                                Phone                                                     Australia” in 4613.0 Australia’s
In the past, secondary batteries were           Recycling                                                 Environment: Issues and Trends,
inconvenient because you needed to                                                                        2006
charge them prior to use, and they did                                                          
not last as long as they do today.                                                                        @.nsf/featurearticlesbyReleaseDat
Whilst secondary batteries will
eventually lose their charge, new                                                                         4. Australian Battery Recycling
technology means that batteries                                                                           Initiative
manufactured today can be used
hundreds of times.                                                                                        5. Sanyo, “Sanyo Eneloop FAQs”
Advantages of Secondary Batteries                                                                         tml

    Divert hazardous waste from
    landfill by using batteries again and

    Reduce the environmental impacts
    of mining virgin resources for
    primary batteries.

    Reduce the environmental impacts
    from transporting large volumes of
    primary batteries around the world.

                                                      Clean Up Australia Ltd
                               ABN 93 003 884 991 PO Box R725, Royal Exchange NSW 1225 Australia
                           tel: 1800 CUA DAY    email:   web:
                                               Clean Up Australia Limited
                                                   ABN 93 003 884 991