Saturday, April 13, 2024

Wellington battery trial powers ahead

A new recycling scheme being trialled by Wellington City Council is set to give used household batteries a new lease of life and prevent them from ending up in the landfill.

Wellingtonians now can drop off their used batteries to be recycled for free at seven Wellington City Council locations.

“This is the latest in a range of initiatives Council is taking to reduce waste volumes, see more precious resources reused and make our city cleaner, healthier and enable us to better manage waste with a growing population,” said Mayor, Andy Foster.

“It’s also another step towards aligning with our zero carbon targets and with making good decisions for future generations.”

Collection points have been set up at Island Bay Community Centre, Karori Library, Kilbirnie Library, Newlands Community Centre, Tawa Community Centre, Te Awe Library (CBD) and the Tip Shop at the Southern Landfill.

Chair of the Wellington Regional Waste Management and Minimisation Plan Join Committee, Councillor Laurie Foon said batteries contain a lot of useful resources, such as metals, and recycling them contributes towards the Council’s vision of a circular economy.

“Unfortunately, as well as the good stuff, batteries also contain harmful chemicals which can leach into soil and waterways, so it’s important to keep them out of the landfill,” said Cr Foon.

“The Solid Waste Management and Minimisation Bylaw (2020) aims to address this, and under the bylaw disposing of used batteries in kerbside rubbish is no longer permitted.” 

Most household batteries are accepted – a full list can be found on Council’s website and on signage at the collection points. Residents will need to tape the terminals of any lithium batteries to prevent leaking, but all others can just be dropped off as they are at the collection points.

The batteries will then be diverted from the landfill and the components will be separated for re-use, recovery and re-processing.

Domestic quantities of up to 20kg of batteries can be disposed of free of charge. 

Car batteries and leaking or damaged batteries aren’t accepted for the recycling trial or in kerbside rubbish. These should be taken to the Southern Landfill Hazardous Waste drop-off where they can be disposed of safely. 

The Sustainability Trust’s EcoCentre in central Wellington also accepts batteries for recycling. 

More information: www.wellington.govt.nz/batteries 

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