FAQ for simple and safe B-cycling

It’s free and easy for households and businesses to recycle batteries with B-cycle

General Questions

What is B-cycle?

B-cycle is Australia’s official battery recycling Scheme. The Scheme is administered by the Battery Stewardship Council, Australia’s national battery stewardship organisation.

B-cycle offers convenient Drop off points for all Australians and businesses to recycle their used batteries.

Unlike other battery recycling programs, B-cycle has strict processes to track and verify that every used battery you drop off is properly recycled and made into new products.

The Scheme is endorsed and supported by all Governments, and authorised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Safely store your dead batteries and take them to a B-cycle Drop off point. There are thousands of locations across Australia.

Learn about safe battery storage here.

Check what battery types are accepted here.

Find your nearest Drop off point here.

B-cycle is in its early days, so we’re still rolling out Drop off points across the country. Please check back in the coming months to see if there’s a Drop off point near you.

Learn about safe battery storage here.

Find your nearest B-cycle Drop off point here.

Any business, school or organisation is eligible to become an accredited Drop off point, and start working with an accredited B-cycle collector who will transport in bulk your batteries to a recycler. Learn more about setting up a Drop off point here.

Used batteries can’t be recycled in your regular recycling bin. In fact, contaminating your recycling bin with non-recyclable items can mean it all gets sent to landfill!

Putting used batteries in your regular rubbish bin can cause sparks and landfill fires. All batteries eventually corrode, and their hazardous contents leach out of landfill and into our soils and waterways, causing damage to wildlife and people.

Yes. It’s important that battery terminals (the end bits) don’t touch, as this can cause them to spark and ignite. The safest way to transport used batteries to a B-cycle Drop off point is to tape the end terminals with non-conductive tape (like duct tape, electrical tape or clear sticky tape), and place them in a clear plastic bag. Make sure you don’t cover the brand name or battery chemistry information. Please don’t put batteries into paper bags, as this creates a fire hazard.

This applies to all batteries, including AA, AAA, button batteries, lithium/rechargeable batteries, and batteries with two terminals at the same end like 9V batteries.

In order to meet regulatory requirements for transport of dangerous goods and to provide the highest safety standards, protecting the terminals of batteries is required to prevent harm to people and property.

This also has benefits for environmental protection. Taping is a simple and effective way to protect the terminals and prevent fire.

Recyclers use a variety of processes to separate soft plastics, such as tape and other battery plastic components. These soft plastics may then be diverted from landfill and sent for recycling.

Our battery recyclers are continuously working to improve recovery rates for all battery components, not just the minerals, to maximise the amount of material that is recycled. The B-cycle Scheme rebates are providing important financial support for recyclers to have confidence to upgrade their processes to improve recovery rates.

No. It’s 100% free for everyday Australians and businesses to take their used batteries to a B-cycle Drop off point. If you have more than 1 kg of batteries, please call the Drop off point to make sure they’re able to accept the quantity and type of batteries you have.

Check what battery types are accepted here.

Find your nearest Drop off point here.

The B-cycle Scheme accepts all small loose and easily removable batteries, including regular AA and other sizes, button batteries, rechargeable batteries, and small removable batteries from devices like hearing aids, power tools, e-bikes and digital cameras.

B-cycle Drop off points do NOT accept mobile phone or laptop batteries, lead acid batteries including car batteries, exit lighting, or batteries embedded in devices, which are covered by other Schemes.

Check out the full list of B-cycle accepted batteries here.  Hover over each of the non-accepted battery types to learn where they can be recycled.

Find a drop off point for lead acid batteries with ABRI.

Find a drop off point for mobile batteries with Mobile Muster.

Find a drop off point for laptop and computer batteries with NTCRS.

If you have a battery embedded in a device (like an electric toothbrush) search online for your local e-waste service.

No, B-cycle doesn’t accept phone or laptop batteries or devices, as these are collected by other stewardship schemes.

Find a drop off point for mobile batteries with Mobile Muster.

Find a drop off point for laptop and computer batteries with NTCRS.

B-cycle is administered by the non-profit, independent, government-backed organisation, the Battery Stewardship Council (BSC).

The BSC was established to ensure a responsible life-cycle for every battery, to keep Australia clean and safe, and safeguard Earth’s precious resources.

B-cycle was initially funded by a $1m Federal Government grant, and matching industry funding. From January 2022, B-cycle accredited battery importers pay a voluntary levy to support offsetting battery recycling costs. This levy is included in the price of B-cycle accredited batteries, which makes the Scheme viable over the long term.

There is 5kg Drop off limit, however if you have more than 1 kg of batteries, please call the Drop off point to make sure they’re able to accept the quantity and type of batteries you have.  Dropping off large quantities of batteries could overfill storage containers, creating a safety hazard.

If you have a large stockpile of legacy batteries (more than 5kg) these can be recycled, but B-cycle can not yet cover this cost. Instead, contact an accredited B-cycle collector here, to understand the costs of collecting and recycling your stockpile.

Every B-cycle Drop off point has partnered with accredited battery collectors and recyclers, to make sure that your batteries are safely managed, recycled and remade into something new.

Your used batteries get processed back to their foundational elements, including plastic, nickel, steel and lithium, and then given a new life as metal tools, computer parts, or brand new batteries.

Yes! Any business, school or organisation is eligible to become an accredited Drop off point.

The first step is to put in place an arrangement with a B-cycle accredited battery collector, who will pick up batteries in bulk from your Drop off point, and transport them to a recycling facility. Find a collector here.

Then, you need to officially join B-cycle as a Drop off point. You can do that here.

Want to learn a bit more before you get started? Visit our Drop off information page here.

You can only use B-cycle branding if you are an accredited member of the B-cycle Scheme. For safety and legal reasons, we cannot allow B-cycle labels and stickers to be placed on containers that are not part of the accredited recycling network.

If you are a retailer, please join B-cycle as an accredited retailer here.

If you have a battery Drop off bin at your organisation, please become an accredited B-cycle Drop off point here.

Once you receive accreditation, B-cycle can share access to our digital branding assets.

Regulations and safety requirements mean that all battery terminals need to be protected (e.g. with clear sticky tape) during transport, to reduce the risk of fire.

Battery recycling processes include separating out soft plastics, including tape, plastic bags, and other battery plastic components. These soft plastics can then be diverted from landfill and recycled.

B-cycle accredited battery recyclers are continuously working to improve recycling rates, including plastic.

Badly damaged, swollen or bulging batteries must be safely managed, as they can be a fire risk.

Please do not bring these batteries to a B-cycle Drop off point, or throw them away in your household rubbish or recycling bins.

Place the battery in a fireproof container (e.g. one made out of glass) and contact a B-cycle accredited collector for advice on safe disposal. Find a collector here.

No, B-cycle is not a cash-back Scheme.

The main reason that large-scale battery recycling failed in the past is that it is too expensive to transport batteries from Drop off points to recycling facilities.

To solve this problem, B-cycle provides financial rebates to accredited collectors when they transport batteries in bulk from Drop off points to recyclers.  This helps to create a cleaner and safer Australia for everyone.

Safety

How can I safely store used batteries at home?

Store in a cool, dry place, in a non-airtight glass container out of reach of children. Find more safety tips here.

Badly damaged, swollen or bulging batteries must be safely managed, as they could be a fire risk. Do not bring these batteries to a B-cycle Drop off point, or throw them away in your household rubbish or recycling bins. Instead, place them in a fire-proof container (e.g. one made out of glass) and contact a B-cycle collector for advice on safe disposal. To avoid this kind of damage, follow our safe storage advice.

If batteries are leaking, but otherwise look normal, handle them with gloves to prevent exposure to hazardous materials. Place the leaking battery into a plastic bag and B-cycle it at a drop off point. Dispose of your gloves and wash your hands to remove any residue.

It’s important that battery terminals (the end bits) don’t touch, as this can cause them to spark and ignite. The safest way to transport used batteries to a B-cycle Drop off point is to tape the end terminals with non-conductive tape (like duct tape, clear sticky tape or electrical tape), and place them in a glass container. Make sure you don’t cover the brand name or battery chemistry information. Please don’t put batteries into paper bags, as this creates a fire hazard.

This applies to all batteries, including AA, AAA, button batteries, lithium/rechargeable batteries, and batteries with two terminals at the same end like 9V batteries.

Battery Collectors, Sorters and Processors

Do I need to be an ABRI member to become a B-cycle accredited collector, sorter or recycler?

Yes, you need to become a member of the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative (ABRI). You can commence the B-cycle application process without ABRI membership, but you must obtain ABRI membership to become a B-cycle accredited battery collector, sorter or recycler.

Learn more about joining ABRI here.

Drop off point

What is the cost of setting up a Drop off point?

As a Drop off point, you provide a collection bin for your organisation, school or broader community to safely drop off their used batteries.
You then work with an accredited B-cycle collector, who will give you advice on your bin, and collect and transport the batteries to an accredited recycling facility. B-cycle does not provide this battery collection service ourselves.

Your collector will charge a fee for battery collection, and this cost depends on which collector you choose to go with.  This cost is substantially subsidised by B-cycle, with rebates paid to battery collectors, sorters and recyclers. Please note that Drop off points can not receive rebates.

No, Drop off points can not receive rebates.

The main reason that large-scale battery recycling failed in the past is that it is too expensive to transport batteries from Drop off points to recycling facilities.

To solve this problem, B-cycle provides financial rebates to accredited collectors when they transport batteries in bulk from Drop off points to recyclers.  This helps to create a cleaner and safer Australia for everyone.

No, B-cycle doesn’t provide Drop off bins.

As a Drop off point, you provide a collection bin for your organisation, school or broader community to safely drop off their used batteries.  You then work with an accredited B-cycle collector, who will give you advice on selecting a bin, and collect and transport the batteries to an accredited recycling facility. B-cycle does not provide this battery collection service ourselves.

After you join B-cycle, you’ll be guided through online safety training, including how to safely set up and manage your drop off bin.

This depends on the Collector you work with. During the sign up process to become a Drop off point, you will form an agreement with a B-cycle accredited collector who will pick up batteries in bulk from your Drop off location, and transport them to a recycling facility. You can work with your collector to figure out a collection schedule that works for you.

Retailer

Can I be a B-cycle accredited retailer without also being a Drop off point?

Yes, you can participate in the B-cycle Scheme as a retailer without being a Drop off point. Please see here for more information about being a B-cycle Retailer.