Battery recycling prevents fires

Published on 15 March 2023

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Just about everything seems to have a battery in it these days so it’s important to make sure they are recycled and treated safely.

Corangamite Shire residents can deposit their old batteries at all Council Transfer Stations at no cost.

Council Waste and Sustainability Officer Jessica Maxwell said car battery chargers and jump start packs had caused a number of incidents and should be disposed of carefully.

“They should be disposed of with the same caution as a car battery,” she said.

“Regular alkaline batteries (like the common AA and nine-volt batteries), button batteries and lithium-ion batteries such as rechargeable phone, laptop and power tool batteries can all contain chemicals that can harm people and the environment.

Ms Maxwell said just because an appliance stopped working didn’t mean the battery was completely dead.

“They still contain reactive chemicals that can be a hazard in the home, especially if they come into contact with water or other chemicals” she said.

“If a dead battery comes in contact with something metal, even a small amount of charge can still cause heat and start a fire.”

Batteries incorrectly thrown into landfill or recycling bins could cause a thermal reaction when they are crushed against other materials and mix with other chemicals.

“Batteries have caused fires in waste collection vehicles and at landfill sites after compaction,” Ms Maxwell said.

“They are also considered contamination in all bins in the kerbside collection wheelie bins.

“Keeping them out of the kerbside bins reduces contamination and means more resources can be recovered and recycled into higher value products.

“It saves ratepayers’ money by sending less waste to Landfill and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.”

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