EP Blog


Smoke alarms save lives, but disused batteries are a potential fire hazard of their own.


Batteries, or objects containing batteries, should never be disposed of in the bin. They should be taken to a battery recycler to avoid the risk of fire and dangerous chemicals entering the environment.


In her recent media release Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley urged people to take an extra safety step and recycle batteries.


“Australians are throwing away around 17,000 tonnes of batteries every year – most end up in landfill where they corrode over time – leaking harmful chemicals into the soil and potentially causing fires that can burn underground for years, ” Minister Ley said.


“What is even scarier, are batteries that spark fires in garbage truck compactors as drivers do their daily suburban route.”


A spokesperson for waste management company Cleanaway said “Batteries from smartphones, laptops and other electronics are a growing cause of truck, facility and landfill fires. These can ignite from friction and heat, starting a fire that spreads to other flammable material nearby such as cardboard. Keep batteries and other household hazardous waste out of all your kerbside bins.” 


In 2019/20 Cleanaway had 23 incidents of batteries exploding in trucks. In 2020/21 that number jumped to 45 incidents.


By recycling batteries you can be part of the solution to a growing waste problem.



Lead, cadmium, mercury, lithium, uranium, manganese, nickel and zinc are used to make batteries. These materials are all non-renewable and can be reused.


The hazardous materials contained in batteries can contaminate soils and water and remain in the environment for a long time. Recycling batteries keeps toxic waste out of the environment.


The materials used in batteries are becoming increasingly hard to find. By recycling batteries you can help ensure we have enough materials to make batteries for the future. 


Batteries can be recycled at Battery World, Officeworks, ALDI Australia, and Woolworths. It’s best to call ahead first to check if they can recycle your battery type. Or you can find your nearest battery recycler at www.recyclingnearyou.com.au



By The Hon Sussan Ley MP Minister for the Environment
Published 5 October 2021
Source: minister.awe.gov.au

Burns Emerald PlanetRecycle batteries for safety’s sake