Revving Up Battery Recycling
Author: Ryan Collins
Australia consumes more than 7.6 million car batteries every year with the average life span being three to four years. Used lead-acid batteries are classified as hazardous waste containing about 2-3 litres of sulfuric acid, as well as lead. This means keeping them out of landfill is extremely important environmentally.
Luckily, car batteries can often be re-conditioned or recycled into new products providing environmental benefits along the way. Recycling uses less energy and water than refining primary ore and removes lead from the environment. The various components are recoverable to around 98% and can be turned into a range of products from plant pots, to laundry detergents and new batteries.
RecyclingNearYou page sponsor, Century Yuasa has established a national network of over 1,200 Battery Recycling Centres for free environmentally responsible collection and recycling of used lead-acid batteries. Some scrap metal recyclers are interested only in the lead component but Century Yuasa takes responsibility for all components. This year Century Yuasa is on track to recycle 3,000 tonnes or 200,000 individual lead-acid batteries!
Although car batteries have a high recycling rate, 135,000 are sent to landfill each year, and another 111,000 are stockpiled in places like household garages.
It is estimated that each used car battery disposed of in household rubbish costs governments $62.50 in detection, removal, and decontamination of organic waste. Councils pass this cost onto residents which increases the cost of disposing of all waste.
If you need to find car battery recycler in your areas you can search on RecyclingNearYou.
If your workplace or business has large quantities of car batteries to recycle, visit BusinessRecycling.com.au to find suitable collection or pick up service options.
In 2011, Planet Ark commissioned an independent study on the lead acid battery recycling of Australians. The findings are discussed in our report, 'Lead Acid Battery Use, Disposal & Recycling in Australia'.