Buller District Council

Battery recycling initiative takes off in Karamea

26th October, 2021

A partnership between the Karamea Waste Management Group (KWMG) and Buller District Council is bringing a battery recycling initiative to Karamea.

The recycling program will start at the Karamea Recycling Centre on 27 October 2021. Karamea residents can drop-off small batteries for free during opening hours.

Batteries accepted include AA, AAA, bigger C batteries, square 9V batteries, smart phone batteries, watch, hearing aid batteries, and coin-shaped batteries. Rechargeable batteries, lithium and phone batteries need to have the terminals isolated (through being taped by residents) prior to being dropped off.

Hamish Macbeth from KMWG says: “It seems really uncommon for local councils to offer a battery recycling service. We are proud to partner with council to bring this initiative to Karamea. It’s such a simple idea and so easy to put in place. It’s basically a bucket for collecting batteries.”

The battery recycling service is offered through Auckland based recycling company Upcycle.

Upcycle specialises in recycling e-waste, batteries, metals and decommissioning assets.

The batteries will be collected in a container that is supplied by Upcycle. Once the container is full, it will be sent to Auckland for recycling.

Mr Macbeth says: “We are really happy to partner with Upcycle so the Karamea community can recycle batteries in a proper way. Disposing of used batteries in landfill is not only detrimental to our environment, it also wastes useful resources.”

Council, through funding from the Waste Minimization Fund, will cover Upcycle’s charge to recycle the batteries.

Council’s solid waste coordinator Juliana Ruiz says: “Batteries need to be properly handled and should not be disposed of in landfill. The battery chemicals soak into the soil and contaminate groundwater and surface water, also lithium batteries can cause landfill fires”.

The program will start in Karamea and will be extended to other areas in the Buller District if it is successful.

The KWMG formed in 2013 to work with council with the aim of improving the management of waste and recycling in Karamea.

To find out where and how you can drop off your batteries go to our battery recycling page.


Further information and contacts:
Solid waste coordinator
Juliana Ruiz

Photo: KWMG celebrating the launch of the new battery recycling initiative. Supplied by KWMG


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