16 August 2023
Member for Blue Mountains, Trish Doyle, is urging residents to keep batteries out of household bins due to a growing number of battery-related fires across the state. Ms Doyle said "Batteries are vital to powering our day-to-day lives, but not enough people are aware of the dangers they pose when thrown into kerbside waste and recycling bins.”
Lithium battery fires in homes and in garbage trucks and tips are increasing, with Fire and Rescue NSW responding to around three battery fires a week.
Batteries contain a range of metals including lead, mercury and lithium which are hazardous when dealt with incorrectly.
“Batteries should never be put in household bins and should instead be dropped off at a battery collection site for recycling.” Ms Doyle said. “We can avoid the risk of these fires in the Blue Mountains if we dispose of batteries properly. It’s also important to know that when disposed of correctly, 95 per cent of their components can be recycled into new products.”
The NSW Government and many councils, including Blue Mountains City Council, have partnered with B-cycle, the national product stewardship scheme for batteries. B-cycle drop off points are available at large retail outlets, like Woolworths and Bunnings.
When a battery has reached the end of its life, the terminals should be taped with clear sticky tape. Once taped, batteries can be stored in a cool dry place, out of reach of children, before being taken to B-cycle drop off point for safe collection and recycling.
Find your nearest drop off point at www.bcycle.com.au.
Products with batteries embedded in them, like phones, laptops and power tools, should be disposed of at an e-waste recycling facility or e-waste drop-off event.
To find out more about safe battery disposal, visit the NSW Environment Protection Authority’s website: www.epa.nsw.gov.au