Residents urged to not bin batteries

Published: 27 Apr 2023

Batteries in our recycling bins are a ticking time bomb for our Materials Recovery Facility.

Following major fires at both Canberra and Rockhampton recycling facilities, council has flagged batteries as the most hazardous items in our bins.

Mayor Greg Williamson said it’s only a matter of time until Mackay experiences the same disastrous consequence of lazy waste disposal.

“Over the past two years contractors JJ Richards and Re.Group have experienced many near-misses.

“There have been several rubbish truck fires over the past couple of years caused by batteries, in some cases the truck has been forced to dump the entire load on the street,” Mayor Williamson said.

“This is extremely dangerous for the truck drivers and potentially an expensive exercise if the truck were to be destroyed.

“In October last year, a laptop battery caused a spark which began smouldering and could have been disastrous if not spotted early.

“More recently, over the Easter break, a fire broke out at the Paget Transfer Station pit when an e-scooter was thrown over and the lithium battery ignited,” he said.

All batteries should be disposed of at the Incredable Drop Off area at Paget where automotive batteries will be removed by staff.

Lithium (rechargeable) batteries, button batteries and normal dry cell batteries can be dropped into the B-cycle battery recycling units located at the drop-off area at Paget and at participating supermarkets.

“The message is quite clear,” Mayor Williamson said. “Don’t bin your batteries.”

“The safety of our staff is paramount. Fires and explosions can kill, and we need our workers to get home to their families safely every day.”

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