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What's All The Buzz About Batteries?

Date: 05-Nov-10

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Background To Batteries

Every year Australians spend around $400 million on batteries – that’s around $50 per household!

New research carried out for the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative shows that Australians dispose around 270 million batteries each year and that just 6% are recycled

In 2004, Australians were responsible for 267 million single-use batteries and 50 million rechargeable batteries being imported (Australian Bureau of Statistics). This corresponds to an annual waste of about 8,000 tonnes of used batteries, which are the most common form of hazardous waste disposed of by Australian Households.

The overwhelming majority of these are single-use or throwaway batteries, most of which end up in the garbage bin when they’ve run out of power.

For more information on battery types and the materials they contain, visit recyclingweek.planetark.org/bb/about.cfm

Benefits Of Rechargeable Batteries

Buying rechargeable batteries is an important way to reduce battery waste. Each battery can be recharged up to 1000 times, saving money and reducing pollution from discarded batteries. A simple switch to rechargeable batteries not only reduces waste, it saves money in a relatively short period of time depending on usage levels.  

Let’s take AA batteries as an example. The power delivered and the cost of a battery varies, but most cost between $0.75 and $1.00. The cost of a charger and batteries has dropped significantly over recent years so that you can now buy batteries and a charger for about the equivalent cost of $5.00 per battery. That might sound a lot at first, but these batteries can be recharged at least 400 times and potentially up to 1000 times. Throw in the cost of recharging, which works out to less than half a cent per charge, and the real cost of each battery falls to 2 cents or less per use!

Even compared to the lowest cost single charge battery you save money. We estimate that after 15 to 20 charges you break even on the cost of your recharger and batteries. After that you are saving money.  For more information visit recyclingweek.planetark.org/bb/about.cfm

Bring Out Your Batteries!

Recycling batteries protects the environment and recovers plastic and metals that can be used to manufacture new batteries.

To coincide with National Recycling Week, Battery World in partnership with Varta have launched Australia’s first free, national recycling collection program for all types and brands of household batteries. Used household batteries can now be dropped into any Battery World store for recycling. Battery World is proud to be an official supporter of National Recycling Week in 2010.

Many councils collect small, household batteries for recycling using commercial collection boxes. Other localised programs include the trial BatteryBack program run in partnership with Sustainability Victoria and the (Perth) Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council program that has seen the establishment of collection points throughout their six councils.

For the Where, Why and How of Battery Recycling visit recyclingweek.planetark.org/bb/recycling.cfm and search for local recycling options at RecyclingNearYou.com.au/batteries

The Bottom Line for Batteries

  • The best way to make a difference is to minimise your battery usage by connecting to the mains power wherever possible.
  • When you do use batteries, remember that buying rechargeables is an important way to reduce batteries sent to landfill.
  • And recycle all used household batteries at Battery World or find a local recycling option at RecyclingNearYou.com.au/batteries

To find out more about battery recycling this National Recycling Week, click here.

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