Bunnings announces 'exciting' new program for shoppers

Bunnings has launched a nationwide Battery Recycling Program, creating the largest network of recycling locations in Australia.

The new program will see battery collection units set up across the Bunnings’ 338 stores, specially designed to collect power tool batteries, along with standard household batteries.

After successfully trialing the program across select Melbourne store locations since 2009, the recycling program will now be launched across all stores by mid-November.

“This is an exciting initiative for our team, suppliers and customers,” Bunnings' director of merchandise Jen Tucker said.

Man recycling batteries at Bunnings. Source: Supplied
Customers can now recycle their household and power tool batteries at their local Bunnings store. Source: Supplied

“We sell a wide range of batteries, from household to power tool batteries and this initiative delivers a ‘full circle’ battery recycling program that will keep harmful materials out of the environment and recover valuable resources that can be infinitely recycled.

“This program is particularly helpful for our trade and D.I.Y. customers, with the collection units being purposely designed to also receive power tool batteries,” Ms Tucker said.

How does it work?

Customers will be able to return their batteries for free to the collection station at the front of each store.

The batteries which can be recycled include domestic single-use and rechargeable batteries including AA, AAA, C, D, 9V sized batteries.

Power tool batteries and button cell batteries and other handheld size batteries are also accepted.

The recycling program does not accept car batteries or batteries that do not fit into the battery collection units.

Two women examine the battery recycling station. Source: Supplied
The program is expected to help in recycling more than 240,000kgs of batteries in its first year. Source: Supplied

Envirostream Australia - the first onshore company to offer mixed battery recycling in Australia - has teamed up with Bunnings to assist in managing the collection and recycling process.

How much impact will it really have?

So how much of a difference will recycling old batteries really make? If a battery is recycled a huge 95 per cent of the battery’s components can be turned into new batteries or used in other industries.

It’s expected that in the first year alone the program will help in recycling more than 240,000kgs of batteries.

The program is a huge step in the right direction when it comes to combating the 3.3 million kilos of lithium-ion battery waste in Australia each year.

According to Australia’s National Science Agency the CSIRO, only two per cent of the 3.3 million kilos are currently recycled each year.

Close up on different types of batteries in hand of modern woman in the house. Source: Getty Images
The Federal Government hopes to triple the amount of batteries recycled over the next five years. Source: Getty Images

The environmental move by Bunnings will also assist in the Federal Government’s Accredited Battery Stewardship Scheme, helping to achieve the Federal Government targets to triple the battery collection rate over a period of five years.

“With the continued use of batteries in handheld devices such as power tools, we really need industry leaders like Bunnings to step up to significantly increase Australia’s battery collection and recycling and help our circular economy grow,” the Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction Trevor Evans said.

“It will take all of us—governments, industry and the community—working together to ensure that Australian consumers are able to safely and responsibly manage all types of used batteries at their end-of-life.”

To check when your local Bunnings store will start the Battery Recycling Program in store check the sustainability section of the Bunnings Website.

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