Battery Stewardship: Charging Up a National Solution

Category : Battery Recycling

Global stewardship action on the battery recycling is well advanced, especially in North America and the European Union.

Rose Read, Chair of the Battery Industry Working Group (BIWG) and CEO of MRI PSO, recently spoke about battery stewardship solutions at the Waste and Recycle Conference in Perth.

In Australia, handheld batteries, including rechargeable and hazardous single-use batteries, are listed as a class of product being considered for accreditation or regulation under the Product Stewardship Act 2011. Large storage batteries such as those used in electric vehicles and for stationary energy storage are also on the 2016-17 Product List under the Act.

For more information about the Product Stewardship Act Priority Product List, visit the Department of the Environment and Energy web page.

Batteries – both small and large can contain valuable and non-renewable resources that should be diverted from landfill and re-utilised. Some battery types also contain hazardous substances which can have a negative impact on human health and the environment. The justification for battery stewardship in Australia is clear.

Over the last two years there has been considerable activity focused on the design and development of a national battery stewardship program, driven by the Battery Industry Working Group (BIWG), hosted by the Queensland Department of the Environment and Heritage Protection and the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative (ABRI).

This has included two pilot projects for power-tool batteries and handheld rechargeables conducted in Brisbane and Toowoomba which have provided important data and insights on how a national program might take shape.

A significant study on Funding Options to establish and implement a national rechargeable battery recycling program including program costs, cost sharing scenarios, cost recovery options and implementation.

Rose Read’s presentation covered the findings from these activities and the Industry’s recommendations for a national rechargeable battery recycling program that were presented to Environment Ministers at their meeting in July.

Read’s presentation was informed by considerable commercial and practical experience held by MRI E-cycle Solutions, who currently operate the back-end of the ALDI battery recycling program.

As part of its battery recycling and product stewardship services, MRI E-cycle Solutions can help manufacturers, suppliers and retailers to manage their risks and ensure that used batteries are recycled in an environmentally robust manner.

Contact Rose Read directly for a copy of the conference presentation

For more information about battery collection and recycling services, including convenient containers and collection buckets, visit the MRI E-cycle Solutions battery recycling web page.

More information

Rose Read

Will LeMessurier
Director, MRI E-cycle Solutions