B-cycle: Australia’s first national battery recycling scheme
Last night there was a blackout when a tree fell on a transformer in the Upper Mountains! It is sooo frustrating when everything’s dark to reach for your torch, only to find the batteries flat!
Fortunately, we now have portable solar lights, and won’t go back to anything with batteries, but the blackout reminded me of all our old torches and the batteries still inside them. Today my action was to search the house for them so that I could take them to be recycled by Australia’s first national battery recycling scheme B-Cycle.
I’ve added a tub for old batteries to the recycling I’m collecting outside my front door at 101 Wentworth St Blackheath. Feel free, if you live nearby, to drop your batteries off and I’ll take them into Katoomba. We’re now collecting pens, markers, glasses and batteries!
Batteries can’t be accepted into any of our household bins because they contain dangerous metals and chemicals. Dropping off batteries to a specialised battery collection point ensure these metals are recovered and cannot cause environmental damage. To avoid the risk of fire, before dropping them off tape battery terminals with clear sticky tape, non-conductive tape or duct tape to prevent sparking (keeping label visible).
Read below for other places to drop off batteries.
The recent launch of B-cycle gives our community the opportunity to drop their spent household batteries at convenient locations.
Council has its two Resource Recovery and Waste Facilities in Katoomba and Blaxland, as host sites for our local community to drop off their batteries and have them recycled with all costs covered by the battery industry. Additional local drop off points are Woolworths in Katoomba and Leura, Aldi in Katoomba and Emu Plains and Bunnings in Katoomba and Valley Heights.
The majority of batteries are, and have always been, recyclable, but it’s this Extender Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme to collect them, that has made this a reality.
While B-cycle is currently only targeting small batteries, the scheme is looking to expand to include batteries from electric vehicles and energy storage systems in future which Council will continue to advocate for.
B-cycle is currently a voluntary scheme, though all the major battery players in the Australian market have signed up.
This is an example of a circular system for one of many needed items and a step towards zero waste.
Blue Mountains City Council’s Towards Zero Waste Strategy
Council has further committed to the goal of zero waste, after endorsing the draft Towards Zero Waste Strategy 2022-2031 for public exhibition.
This 10 year strategy focuses on the work done to date and provides a detailed action plan presenting clear and practical strategies for continuing to reduce waste to landfill and transition to a zero waste city.
The development of this Strategy is crucial as we balance finite resources with our goals of increased planetary health and long-term sustainability.
The six objectives of the strategy are:
- Embed a circular economy by focusing on avoid, reuse, recycle then landfill
- Comply with legislation including a focus on environmental management
- Maintain ongoing value for money
- Ensure flexibility to respond to emerging opportunities
- Have a high level of community engagement
- Ensure local landfill capacity beyond 2037
You can provide feedback on Council’s Draft Zero Waste Strategy by Tuesday 5 April, 2022 here