Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Buller council charges up battery recycling initiative

A partnership between Buller District Council and Karamea Waste Management Group (KWMG) is bringing a battery recycling initiative to Karamea.

The recycling program will start at the Karamea Recycling Centre tomorrow (27 October), with Karamea residents invited to drop off small batteries for free during opening hours.

Batteries accepted include AA, AAA, bigger C batteries, square 9V batteries, smart phone batteries, watch, hearing aid batteries, and coin-shaped batteries. Rechargeable batteries, lithium and phone batteries need to have the terminals isolated with tape prior to being dropped off.

“It seems really uncommon for local councils to offer a battery recycling service. We are proud to partner with council to bring this initiative to Karamea. It’s such a simple idea and so easy to put in place. It’s basically a bucket for collecting batteries,” said Hamish Macbeth from KMWG.

The battery recycling service is offered through Auckland-based recycling company, Upcycle, which specialises in recycling e-waste, batteries, metals and decommissioning assets.

The batteries will be collected in a container that is supplied by Upcycle. Once the container is full, it will be sent to Auckland for recycling.

“We are really happy to partner with Upcycle so the Karamea community can recycle batteries in a proper way. Disposing of used batteries in landfill is not only detrimental to our environment, it also wastes useful resources,” Mr Macbeth said.

Council, through funding from the Waste Minimization Fund, will cover Upcycle’s charge to recycle the batteries.

“Batteries need to be properly handled and should not be disposed of in landfill. The battery chemicals soak into the soil and contaminate groundwater and surface water, also lithium batteries can cause landfill fires,” said Council’s solid waste coordinator, Juliana Ruiz.

Council says the program will start in Karamea and be extended to other areas in the Buller District if it is successful.

The KWMG formed in 2013 to work with council with the aim of improving the management of waste and recycling in Karamea.

To find out where and how you can drop off your batteries go to Council’s battery recycling page.

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