Testing what’s possible for future national programs
End-of-life batteries (single use and rechargeable) less than 5kg in weight are on the Australian Government’s Product List for potential action under the Product Stewardship Act.
They are also the subject of an important trial program about to commence in Toowoomba, Queensland.
The Toowoomba Rechargeable BATTERYback Trial is a free program designed to collect data and insights that can help design future national schemes. It will run until 5th September 2016.
The Trial covers all rechargeable batteries up to 5kg and includes AA, AAA, C and D batteries, as well as those found in power tools, computers, mobile phones and radio controlled models.
Under the Trial, residents and small business can drop-off their used and unwanted rechargeable batteries at one of 14 collection points around Toowoomba, including Bunnings Warehouse, Officeworks, Supercheap Auto, Battery World, IGA, participating council facilities, Lifeline, the University of Southern Queensland, and several other retail sites. This diversity in collection channels is being analysed to establish whether certain stores and sites are more attractive than others when it comes to public participation.
All the drop-off sites are listed at the RecyclingNearYou website.
The Trial program is an initiative of the Queensland Department of the Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) and the Battery Industry Working Group (BIWG), who are also funding partners.
Several research objectives underpin the initiative in order to test community uptake, as well as the ability or interest in separating rechargeable from non-rechargeable batteries. The response to particular forms of public outreach is also being evaluated.
The Australian Battery Recycling Initiative, EcoActiv, MRI and Planet Ark are working together to implement the Trial on behalf of DEHP and BIWG.
ABRI is made up of industry, government and environment groups, and was established in 2008 to promote environmentally responsible management of batteries at end-of-life.
A report documenting the Trial, complete with recommendations for future action will be prepared soon after the Trial’s completion.
PS. If you have friends, family or colleagues in the Toowoomba area, please let them know about the Trial.