Recycling Policy

Battery Care & Disposal Information

To the average consumer, a battery is a battery. They do not always know it's chemistry, it's ability to be recycled or the disposal effects of that battery on the environment.

Batteries come in many shapes and sizes and are made of varying chemistries. The ability to recycle batteries is ultimately dependant on this chemical constitution. Economic viability governs incentive for the sustainable processes of recycling batteries.
Logistical problems of collection, discharging, identification, sorting by chemistry, transportation and labour makes recycling an expensive procedure.

In Australia, except for lead acid type chemistries, all other battery disposal collection for recycling overseas is now done by:

MRI Australia
20-24 Dennis Street
Campbellfield VIC 3061
Ph: 1300 4 eWASTE
Fax: 03 9305 4491 
www.mri.com.au
Contact: William J Le Messurier (Director)

MRI where not recycled in Australia, export batteries to recycling facilities in other parts of the world like Europe & Korea. MRI is EPA licensed to handle and recycle the following types of batteries:

All Australian companies involved in the sale of battery products can now use MRI for disposal of batteries. MRI has a contract with the Australian Mobile Telephone Association (AMTA) for recycling old mobile phone batteries, handsets and accessories. We believe all other companies engaged in product recycling now pass NiCd, NiMH & other battery recycling & disposal enquiries onto MRI Australia.

Batteries are usually stored in special bins or sealed 200 litre compliant drums provided by MRI.

MRI can quote on recycling of other types of batteries including Mercury Oxide, Silver Oxide, Lithium etc.

Of all the battery chemistries, mercury and cadmium are the most dangerous chemical components to our environment.
Under no circumstances should a battery be exposed to fire or incinerated as this could lead them to explode.
This information is a general guideline on battery disposal. For more detailed information on Australian guidelines for disposal of batteries contact the EPA or your local council or visit www.recyclingnearyou.com.au or www.businessrecycling.com.au/category/electrical-equipment.
We have divided the batteries into their chemistries below and given information as to the current recycling procedures in Australia.

Alkaline

Since the early 1990's nearly all alkaline batteries have been manufactured with "no mercury added".
These batteries are considered non-hazardous waste and are safe for disposal in small quantities only through the normal municipal waste stream.
Recycling of alkaline batteries is still considered too expensive to be a commercial reality, although some overseas & local methods are now being explored see MRI Recycling.

Carbon-Zinc & Zinc-Chloride

These batteries are considered non-hazardous waste and are safe for disposal in small quantities only through the normal municipal waste stream.
Recycling of carbon zinc batteries is still considered too expensive to be a commercial reality.

Zinc-Air

Zinc-Air batteries are considered non-hazardous waste and are safe for disposal in small quantities only through the normal municipal waste stream.
Recycling of zinc-Air batteries is still considered to expensive to be a commercial reality.

Silver Oxide

These batteries contain silver and are considered to be a hazardous waste. Silver oxide batteries should be accepted back for recycling by the manufacturers, battery retailers, jewellers & watchmakers.
For more information on recycling silver oxide batteries see MRI Recycling.

Mercury Oxide

Production of mercuric oxide batteries was ceased in the 1990's due to environmental concerns of mercury contamination. Mercuric oxide batteries are considered toxic waste and are encapsulated in concrete or recycled for their mercury in overseas.
Mercuric oxide batteries should be accepted back by the manufacturer, battery retailers and equipment manufacturers.
For more information on recycling mercury batteries see MRI Recycling.

Lithium

Lithium (metal) batteries contain no toxic metals and are therefore considered safe for individual disposal into the municipal waste landfill. Non-consumers should first fully discharge the battery prior to disposal so the battery takes up all the metallic lithium content. There is a possibility of fire if the metallic lithium is exposed to moisture upon cell corrosion. Most lithium systems contain electrolyte that is toxic and flammable.
For more information on recycling Lithium batteries see MRI Recycling.

Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)

Li-Ion batteries do not contain metallic lithium and therefore are not an environmental risk. Disposal in the normal waste stream is considered safe. These batteries do however contain recyclable materials and are accepted for recycling by MRI.
For more information on recycling Li-Ion batteries see MRI Recycling.

Rechargeable Alkaline

These batteries are considered non-hazardous waste and are safe for disposal in the normal municipal waste stream.
Recycling of rechargeable alkaline batteries is still considered too expensive to be a commercial reality. These batteries are sent to landfill in small quantities by usual means or if in large volumes may be recycled see MRI Recycling. encapsulated in concrete.

Sealed Lead Battery (SLA)

Lead acid batteries are fully recyclable and should be accepted back at any location that commonly accepts automotive starter batteries. There are scrap metal merchants or and recycling specialists for lead acid like the following companies.

Parramatta Scrap Metal at 150 James Ruse Drive Parramatta NSW (Phone 9630 2974).

ARA (Australian Refined Alloys) Euston RD Alexandria NSW (Phone 02 9516 5125).

Australian Refined Alloys Euston Road Alexandria NSW (Phone 02 9516 5125).

Boomerang Scrap Metal Pty Ltd 24 Albert St Preston VIC (Phone 03 9480 0077).

Intercontinental Metals Pty Ltd 106 Bell St Preston VIC (Phone 03 9480 3011)

Kane Scrap Metals 15 Bell St Preston East VIC (Phone 03 9484 4561)

www.businessrecycling.com.au/recycle/lead-acid

Nickel Cadmium (NiCd)

The toxic cadmium content renders these types of batteries hazardous to the environment. Returning them for recycling to the manufacturer or battery retailer is considered non-careless disposal see www.recyclingnearyou.com.au
The Melbourne based company MRI are specialists in NiCd battery collection and have over 700 collection points around Australia. The Australian Mobile Telephone Association (AMTA) engages MRI to perform their collection.
For more information on recycling of NiCd batteries see MRI Recycling and www.businessrecycling.com.au/recycle/rechargeable.

Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH)

Although Ni-MH batteries are considered environmentally friendly, this type of battery chemistry can be recycled. The Nickel component is semi-toxic and electrolyte in large amounts can be hazardous to the environment. If no disposal service is readily available individual batteries can be discarded with other household waste.
For more information on recycling NiMH batteries see MRI Recycling, www.recyclingnearyou.com.au/ & www.businessrecycling.com.au/recycle/rechargeable.

Choosing the right Recycler:
For advice on choosing the right recycler, please visit: www.businessrecycling.com.au/research/resources

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