Waste not – RACQ's battery recycling program reducing landfill

RACQ has reduced its environmental footprint and prevented 2,500 tonnes of potential waste a year through its battery recycling program.

Club spokesperson Lucinda Ross said around 90 percent of batteries replaced by RACQ Roadside Assistance patrols and contractors were recovered for recycling.

“In the past financial year, we recycled 165,000 batteries and in a typical month, we collect and send eight truckloads to be recycled,” Ms Ross said. 

“We’ve been involved in battery recycling since the 1990s and as battery technology continues to improve, we’re now at the stage where more than 95 percent of the content of a car battery is recyclable. 

“A car battery has, on average, a lifespan of about three years, depending on usage, which is why it’s so important we have a comprehensive battery recycling program that minimises the environmental impact of such a large amount of potential waste.” 

Ms Ross said the Club’s battery program was all about a whole of life philosophy. 

“We have a strong focus on where we source our batteries, what goes into them, how they are sold and especially how old batteries are recycled to lessen the environmental impact,” she said.

“While most batteries are made overseas, the recycling is done right here in Australia. Scrap is collected at our three distribution centres in Brisbane, Rockhampton and Townsville and delivered to our contracted recycler in Sydney.

“The lead recovered from car batteries is separated from other chemicals, melted and shipped to Korea where it’s re-used to make new batteries or other products. The plastics are recycled for use in a variety of new products, including wheelie bins and battery acid is cleaned and re-used in such products as gypsum.”