Batteries don’t go in the bin

Published on 16 October 2020

A close-up of AAA and AA batteries, positive side up.

Council is urging community members to keep batteries out of their wheelie bins, following recent fires at recycling centres.

On 23 September, a small fire broke out in a pile of recyclables at Visy’s Banyule Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), due to a vacuum battery being put in someone’s bin.

Though the fire was quickly contained, Visy confirmed that there are multiple incidents each month where a battery put in a wheelie bin for collection causes an incident at their facilities, putting workers and the recycling facilities at risk.

Batteries contain harmful chemicals and can ignite or explode when compressed, causing significant damage to rubbish trucks or risking a catastrophic fire at a waste processing centre.

Council CEO, Tammi Rose, encouraged community members to put batteries aside when they were no longer usable.

“While we know it can be frustrating to leave items out of the bin when they’re no longer working, batteries should never go in your wheelie bins because of the dangers they posed for rubbish collectors.

“One battery igniting can be enough to cause serious damage and risk the lives of others.

“There are places in the community where batteries can be dropped off for free, including Officeworks and the Coldstream Waste Transfer Station.

“When we reopen later this year, our Lilydale Community Link has a battery drop-off point, but it’s always best to search and see what your closest option may be.

“Wherever possible, using rechargeable batteries can help to reduce your environmental impact and dropping off batteries to be recycled helps to keep the community safe.”

Used batteries can be stored in cardboard boxes or plastic containers, kept in a cool, dry area until they can be disposed of properly. Do not ever crush or puncture a battery and always keep them out of reach of children.

For a full list of what you can and can’t put in your bins, visit

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