Household Battery Recycling

The MobileMuster is a free mobile-phone industrial recycling program that accepts all brands and types of mobile phones, plus their batteries, chargers and accessories. Check the website for drop-off sites:

When we contacted our local waste transfer station to dispose of batteries we were told that it only accepts car batteries and will not accept torch, clock and camera batteries.

Battery World advertises that it collects for recycling all batteries that it sells. But if you do not live near one of its stores or you buy batteries from other shops, you have no options for recycling or safe disposal.

The Australian Government National Waste Report 2013 lists startling figures for the quantity of batteries which Australians consume and our poor recycling rates. Recovery and recycling of lead acid batteries is much better than for others: in 2010, 100,700 tonnes (75%) were recovered but 11,374 tonnes were sent to landfill.

The 2010 Australian Battery Recycling Initiative report, ‘Analysis of Battery Consumption, Recycling and Disposal in Australia’, found a similar rate of recovery of automotive and industrial lead acid batteries. But 11,904 tonnes of hand-held batteries (i.e. not automotive or industrial), were disposed of each year, with a shocking 8024 tonnes (67.4%) going to landfill, 810 tonnes (6.3%) being recycled and 3070 tonnes (25.7 %) being stockpiled informally.

TVs and e-waste

Most reuse shops are drop-off points for businesses that recycle televisions and computers. Very few old computers or televisions can be resold as the demand is very low. We were told by a re-use shop attendant that televisions and computers are taken to the mainland for reprocessing but they did not know what happens to them.