A Warning to Residents: Battery Fires Threatening Lives

battery fires threatening lives
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State Member for the Electorate of Cessnock, Clayton Barr, MP is urging residents to keep batteries out of household bins due to a growing number of battery-related fires across the state.

Lithium battery fires in homes and in garbage trucks and tips are increasing, with Fire and Rescue NSW responding to around three battery fires a week.

Fire and Rescue NSW data shows that so far this year, NSW has seen a 20% increase in battery-related fire or explosion incidents when comparing the number of fires this year to the first half of last year.

Batteries contain a range of metals including lead, mercury and lithium which are hazardous when dealt with incorrectly.

There are several recycling options available to consumers.

The NSW Government and many councils, including Cessnock City Council and Lake Macquarie City Council have partnered with B-cycle, the national product stewardship scheme for batteries. B-cycle drop-off points are available at some large retail outlets, such as Woolworths, ALDI and                                                                   Bunnings

Community Recycling Centres (CRC) and Household Chemical CleanOut events also accept batteries so you can now drop off small household batteries at over 1,000 locations across NSW for recycling.

When a battery has reached the end of its life, the terminals should be taped with clear sticky tape. Once taped, batteries can be stored in a cool dry place, out of reach of children, before being taken to B-cycle drop off point or CRC for safe collection and recycling.


Find your nearest drop off point at http://www.cleanout.com.au or www.bcycle.com.au.


Products with batteries embedded in them, like phones, laptops and power tools, should be disposed of at an e-waste recycling facility or e-waste drop-off event.


To find out more about safe battery disposal, visit the EPA’s website.

Quotes attributable to Clayton Barr MP:

“Batteries are vital to powering our day-to-day lives, but not enough people are aware of the dangers they pose when thrown into kerbside waste and recycling bins.

“There has been a significant increase in fires in garbage trucks and waste facilities across the state, but we can avoid them in the Cessnock Electorate if we dispose of batteries properly.”

“You can drop off old or unwanted batteries at several locations across the Cessnock Electorate including major retail stores like Woolworths, Big W,  Bunnings and ALDI, Ritchies IGA Cessnock, Officeworks Rutherford or at Cessnock Community Recycle Centre (Old Maitland Road, Cessnock) or Lake Macquarie Community Recycling Centre (Milton Road, Awaba).”

Simple ways to be battery smart:

  • Batteries should never be placed in household waste or recycling bins.
  • When your battery has reached its end of life, tape the terminals (ends of the battery) with clear sticky tape.
  • Once taped, batteries should be taken to a Community Recycling Centre or dropped off at a dedicated recycling point, which many of Australia’s largest retailers offer in store.
  • If a product has a battery embedded into it, these should be disposed of separately at an e-waste facility or at an e-waste drop-off event.
  • To find out more about safe battery disposal and your nearest recycling point visit B-cycle.