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B-cycle reports near-doubling in battery recycling by Australians

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The federal government-backed battery stewardship scheme B-cycle, founded by the Battery Stewardship Council (BSC), has announced what it says is an increase of more than 30 per cent in battery recycling and a quadrupling in public drop-off points since it began its work 18 months ago.

In a statement on Monday, BSC said its annual Positive Charge Report (linked) reports that there are now over 4,195 drop-off points for everyday loose (easily removable) batteries.

The not-for-profit B-cycle was launched in 2022, with support from the Commonwealth and all state/territory governments, with the purpose of increasing the recycling of used batteries.

Recycling by Australians has grown to 2.375 tonnes of used batteries in 2022/23, according to B-cycle’s report, almost double the 1.258 tonnes collected before the scheme began. 

Besides the raw volume increase, the group also reported a near-doubling of the collection rate to 12 per cent, though predicts a growth of more than 40-fold in lithium-based batteries to 7.7 million tonnes by 2050.

B-cycle CEO Libby Chaplin said, “Given that the recycling and refurbishment infrastructure and capacity is currently insufficient to deal with this forecasted growth in batteries entering the waste stream, it is imperative that industry [continues] to be pro-active in demonstrating stewardship outcomes to an increasingly aware consumer base. 

“In 2024 we will resume our engagement with the EV sector to explore stewardship options to ensure we’re prepared as the electrification of the transport sector continues.”

The average material recovery rate for batteries is currently 71 per cent.

Over 100 organisations now participate in the scheme, with 54 importers and 28 retailers among them, said B-cycle.

Picture: credit B-cycle

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