Australia Recycles only 2% from annual Lithium-Ion Battery waste of 3,300 tons: CSIRO


PERTH (Scrap Register): A new report 'Lithium battery recycling in Australia' addresses growing demand for lithium-ion technology, currently used in vast quantities in electronic and household devices.The report says that Australia could become a world leader in the re-use and recycling of lithium-ion batteries.

As the demand for energy storage systems and batteries grows, so too does the amount of lithium-ion battery waste. Only 2 per cent of Australia's annual 3,300 tons of lithium-ion battery waste is recycled, according to a new CSIRO report.

Low battery recycling rates can be overcome through better understanding of the importance of recycling, improved collection processes, and by implementing ways to efficiently recycle materials.

The report also says that an effective recycling industry could also stabilise global lithium supplies to meet consumer demand.

This waste is growing by 20 percent per year and could exceed 100,000 tonnes by 2036. If recycled, 95 percent of components can be turned into new batteries or used in other industries.

By comparison, of the 150,000 tons of lead-acid batteries sold in 2010, 98 per cent were recycled. The majority of Australia's battery waste is shipped overseas, and the waste that remains left in landfill, leading to a potential fires and environmental contamination.

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