Less than 10% of batteries sold in Australia each year are recycled, with the rest ending up in landfill.
That’s crazy, and not just from an environmental point of view. It overlooks the financial benefits that businesses can gain from recycling batteries.
Some benefits are obvious, while others are less so.
1. Reduced landfill costs
Each year we generate more and more waste, putting increasing pressure on landfills. One consequence is that the cost of dumping rubbish in landfill is rising.
The greater the volume of waste that is sent for recycling, the lower the landfill costs a business needs to pay.
Businesses also need to be aware of the upcoming ban on dumping all e-waste in landfill in Victoria. Other states are likely to follow suit.
We don’t know what the penalties will be for flouting the ban but, if properly policed, businesses that continue to send e-waste to landfill could face hefty fines.
2. Money for old batteries
There is one type of battery that does enjoy very high recycling rates: lead acid.
These basically comprise lots of lead, some acid, and plastic, all of which are easily and cheaply recycled.
The upshot is that many recyclers will pay good money for old lead-acid batteries.
At present, recycling most other types of batteries incurs a net cost.
However, with more efficient collection programs and advances in recycling technology, that could change.
A wider range of batteries could acquire a net value so watch this space.
3. Reduced future costs
Batteries contain valuable materials such as cobalt, manganese and lithium. These are all finite resources subject to the laws of supply and demand.
With demand soaring, dumping batteries removes these materials from the supply side of the equation.
Recycling batteries keeps these resources in circulation.
The resulting increase in supply means lower resource prices that will flow through to lower new battery prices. That’s a further saving to business.
4. Reduced recruitment and training costs
How can having a workplace battery recycling program affect recruitment and training costs? It’s simple.
People like to work for good companies, and running visible recycling programs is one way of standing out from the crowd.
Companies that rank poorly on environmental performance may face higher staff turnover, and that leads to higher recruitment and training costs. (And it’s worth noting that the best people are usually the most mobile).
Battery recycling is an easy way to provide some of the feel-good factor that is critical to retaining good personnel.
Reaping the many financial benefits of battery recycling is easier than you might think.
Ecocycle provides battery collection and recycling solutions ranging from two litre collection buckets up to the truckload.
To get started, all you need to do is call us on 1300 32 62 92 or fill in the form below and we’ll get your battery recycling program up and running in no time.