Where can you dispose of batteries safely in New Zealand?
Waste batteries that are carelessly thrown away with the general rubbish or mixed with other recycling can be dangerous and start fires – placing recycling workers at risk and damaging vital facilities. You can stop used batteries from becoming dangerous by disposing of them safely and dropping them off to a designated battery collection facility.
The map below shows both free and paid collection points for standard household batteries (single use lead acid and rechargeable lithium ion) in Aotearoa. The map is a work in progress to help the public understand where in Aotearoa New Zealand household batteries can be dropped off, rather than being sent to landfill.
These battery collection facilities are operated by either councils or private entities, and each have different requirements for how the batteries should be prepared prior to drop off, and what types of batteries they can receive. Please contact the facilities before you arrive to ensure they’re aware of these.
The dangers of used batteries
Used batteries thrown away in the general rubbish, or mixed with other recyclable materials like card, metals and plastics, can be very dangerous.
When your general rubbish or recycling is collected, any used batteries hiding in it are unintentionally likely to be squashed, compacted, punctured, shredded or soaked in liquids. When this happens, some types of battery can get very hot or ignite, resulting in fires that put lives at risk; cause millions of dollars of damage; and disrupt your waste services.
Even if they don’t cause a fire, if damaged, these dead batteries contain chemicals and materials that can harm the environment if they aren’t disposed of responsibly.
Top tips to stop waste batteries from becoming dangerous.
- Try to use rechargeable batteries instead of single-use ones where possible - this reduces the number of batteries that are discarded
- Try to sell or donate working, but unwanted, battery-powered electronic items instead of throwing them away
- Never put batteries in your general rubbish bin or recycle them with other recyclable materials
- If you can safely remove a battery from a product, the battery should always be disposed of separately using a battery collection service.