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How to dispose of your batteries

Learn how to dispose of your batteries, and other e-waste products, correctly.

Batteries: they’re necessities for nearly all of our household products and appliances, but with regards to the environment, they are complicated and extremely damaging if not disposed of correctly. While certain types of batteries are deemed safe to throw out with the rest of your household waste, it’s important to understand which aren’t, and how you can be rid of them in an eco-friendly fashion. 

Do your research online

When researching what types of batteries you can dispose of with the rest of your rubbish and which are not, head online to a local council website, such as Auckland Council who have information regarding battery disposal here. They have a straightforward yet detailed list of what’s safe and what’s not – with specific information on the ‘nasty’ kind of batteries – and where you’ll find them amongst your everyday household items, as well as the recommended disposal action for them is.

Contact your council

Recycling options and procedures vary according to different regions. Once you know the basics online, be sure to contact your regional council for confirmation that the action you’re going to take is supported by the correct facilities.

What to do about other e-waste

E-waste includes any technology that you are looking to dispose of: computers, laptops and televisions; lighting; mobile phones; and whiteware. Here’s what you can do with unwanted appliances.

For TVs

Drop off your old set during the Government’s TV TakeBack (a partnership with RCN e-Cycle, Project Green and Sims Recycling Solutions) when it rolls into a town near you. 

You can personally:

  • pay for repair or for parts replacement where possible, with a few of the dollars you saved by resisting the latest gadget
  • re-sell working products to a trusted buyer
  • donate working devices to organisations that agree to take them (the operative word being ‘agree’: cellphones to Starship Children’s Hospital – good; bag left outside the Salvation Army store overnight – bad)
  • return to phones to Vodafone, Telecom or 2degrees
  • ​contact the maker: some good corporate citizens take products back
  • check out other refurbishers near you
  • drop off to an occasional e-drive, run by your local council or volunteers

The key is ‘Disposer Beware’. Always ask: “What exactly will happen to my stuff?” And remember, whenever disposing of any electronic device, erase your data first.

For more from the ‘What to do with e-waste’ feature, click here

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