Battery disposal

Never bin your batteries

Binning your batteries is a fire risk and is harmful to people and the planet.

  • There are an estimated 5.7 million used batteries in households across the country with the potential to cause serious harm.
  • Industry estimates there are three fires a week in waste and recycling collection trucks attributed to batteries.

This comes at a huge cost to councils, industries, and communities. By keeping used batteries out of general waste and recycling bins you make a difference by preventing fires and minimising collection costs.

Why binning batteries is dangerous

  • Throwing used batteries away in general waste and recycling bins is a serious fire hazard. Any battery that holds a charge can spark and cause a fire.
  • Button batteries are a particular fire risk because they have a large battery terminal that can easily spark. They can also cause internal burns if swallowed by small children and pets.
  • Lithium batteries are particularly dangerous. When crushed inside a collection truck they can self-ignite and cause explosive fires.
  • Incorrect disposal of used batteries can release toxic substances like lead and mercury, harming the environment.

How to Safely Dispose of Batteries

  1. Never bin your batteries in general waste or recycling bins.
  2. Tape battery terminals with clear sticky tape. This prevents the battery terminals from touching, which can make them spark and catch fire.
  3. Take batteries to a designated drop-off point.

Battery drop-off points

  • B-cycle: Visit B-cycle and enter your postcode and battery type, for a full list of recycling drop-off points for standard-sized batteries used to power household items (AA, AAA, C, D etc.),  Find a B-cycle Drop off point.
  • Battery World or Supercheap Auto: to recycle car batteries
  • Council Waste and Recycling facilities: You can drop-off all types of batteries free of cost at any of our Waste and recycling facilities.

Battery safety at home

Follow these tips to ensure safety at home:

  • Tape battery terminals with clear sticky tape and store them in a fire-resistant container like a glass jar. To avoid pressure build-up, keep the lid loose so air can escape.
  • Keep new and used batteries out of reach of children and pets.
  • Avoid overcharging battery-operated devices.
  • New batteries should remain in their original packaging and should not be stored longer than 6 months.
  • Take used batteries to a designated drop-off point for recycling.

Battery recycling benefits

Used batteries can have devastating impacts when they’re thrown in the bin. 

Recycling batteries:

  • Helps reduce toxic landfill waste.
  • Reuses precious resources like lithium, cobalt, and manganese to make new batteries and other metal products.
  • Protects our environment and communities.