Car battery recycling program saves tonnes of waste from landfill

Friday, 11 December, 2020

Car battery recycling program saves tonnes of waste from landfill

A battery recycling program is allowing the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (RACQ) to reduce its environmental footprint and prevent 2500 tonnes of potential waste from going to landfill each year.

Club spokesperson Lucinda Ross said around 90% of batteries replaced by RACQ Roadside Assistance patrols and contractors are recovered for recycling.

“In the past financial year we recycled 165,000 batteries, and in a typical month we collect and send eight truckloads to be recycled,” Ross said.

“We’ve been involved in battery recycling since the 1990s and, as battery technology continues to improve, we’re now at the stage where more than 95% of the content of a car battery is recyclable.

“A car battery has, on average, a lifespan of about three years, depending on usage, which is why it’s so important we have a comprehensive battery recycling program that minimises the environmental impact of such a large amount of potential waste.”

Ross explained that the club’s battery program reflects a whole-of-life philosophy.

“We have a strong focus on where we source our batteries, what goes into them, how they are sold and especially how old batteries are recycled to lessen the environmental impact,” she said.

“While most batteries are made overseas, the recycling is done right here in Australia. Scrap is collected at our three distribution centres in Brisbane, Rockhampton and Townsville and delivered to our contracted recycler in Sydney.

“The lead recovered from car batteries is separated from other chemicals, melted and shipped to Korea, where it’s reused to make new batteries or other products. The plastics are recycled for use in a variety of new products, including wheelie bins, and battery acid is cleaned and reused in such products as gypsum.”

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