Council battery recycling trial extended to Ōtaki Library

6 Mar 2024, 11:15 AM

The success of a recycling trial for household batteries at Paraparaumu Library has prompted Kāpiti Coast District Council to extend the trial to Ōtaki.

Waste projects manager Robbie Stillwell said domestic batteries can now be dropped in a custom-built cabinet at Ōtaki Library, from where Council will send them for recycling.

“Since the trial began in Paraparaumu in July 2023, we’ve been able to divert about 320 kg of dead household batteries from landfill, so we’ve decided to extend this facility to Ōtaki library too.

“About 99 percent of the components in domestic batteries may be able to be reused in new batteries and steel building reinforcing rods,” Mr Stillwell said.

Ōtaki librarian Debbie Brown demonstrates the kinds of batteries you can now recycle at the library.

Photo: Ōtaki librarian Debbie Brown demonstrates the kinds of batteries you can now recycle at the library. See larger image.

“This extends the use of valuable resources and allows us to divert hazardous waste from landfill where it can leach into the soil and waterways. It also reduces the risk of old batteries starting fires in rubbish or recycling bins and collection trucks.

Mr Stillwell said normal household batteries, such as lithium-ion or Li-ion (including rechargeable ones), nickel cadmium and alkaline AA/AAA, C, D, and N batteries, and silver zinc hearing aid batteries – all in good condition – can be dropped off.

“People can still drop off their old batteries for free at our Otaihanga or Ōtaki transfer stations, but those facilities are only for safe disposal. Our library facilities will recycle them for other uses.

“We also recognise that the transfer station may not be convenient for people with just a couple of batteries to dispose of, so the Ōtaki and Paraparaumu library facilities will be more convenient for people.”

The library has several layers of safety measures in place including using a non-metal bucket that lowers the combustion risk. For additional safety, people dropping off lithium-ion batteries are asked to tape the ends with tape provided at the recycling station.

Leaking or damaged batteries, or batteries for power tools, electronic devices, or vehicles, cannot be dropped off at the library and will still need to go to the transfer stations for safe disposal.

“Our friends at Menzshed have stepped up again to help re-purpose an old wooden cabinet rescued from the tip shop for battery recycling so we’re very appreciative of their input.

“Batteries dropped off for recycling go to battery recycling company Upcycle, which collects batteries from all over New Zealand for recycling,” Mr Stillwell said.