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Batteries & fireworks

How to safely dispose of waste items that pose a fire risk.

  • Batteries contain hazardous substances that can be harmful to the environment.  If batteries are put in kerbside wheelie bins or public litter bins, they pose a fire risk and could potentially harm staff or members of the public. 

    Where can batteries be dropped off?

    • Wakatipu Recycling Centre: 112 Glenda Drive, Frankton, Queenstown

    • Wastebusters Recycling Centre: Ballantyne Road, Wanaka 9343 (Fees may apply)

    • Bay Audiology offers a free recycling programme for all hearing aid batteries. You do not have to be a Bay Audiology customer to take part in the recycling programme. For more information call Bay Audiology on 0800 700 851. 

    • Mobile phones contain lithium ion batteries and these can cause fires when they end up in landfill. Mobile phones can be dropped off free of charge at a Vodafone, Spark or 2Degrees retailer who recycle these through Re:Mobile. Mobiles can also be dropped off free of charge at Wanaka Wastebusters.

    Which batteries can be dropped off?

    • Household appliance batteries including; 

      • Li-ion batteries (from laptops, cameras, cell phones and tools)

      • AA, AAA, C, and D cell batteries

      • alkaline cell

      • lithium

      • 9-volt

      • Cr123 camera batteries

      • dry cell and zinc

      • NiCd

      • NiMH

      • gel cell

    • Removable mobile phone batteries. If your old mobile phone doesn’t have a removable battery, drop the phone off free of charge at a Vodafone, Spark or 2Degrees retailer and it will be recycled through Re:Mobile. Mobiles can also be dropped off free of charge at Wanaka Wastebusters.

    • Car batteries

    • Most damaged, leaking or rusty batteries. No modified batteries will be accepted. 


    What happens to the batteries?

    Some batteries will be refurbished or recycled in New Zealand. Others are sent off-shore because there is currently no option to process these locally.

    Any batteries that are exported are sent to responsible downstream recyclers in line with the Basel and Stockholm Conventions which regulate the export of hazardous waste.


    What can you do to reduce the environmental impact of batteries?

    • Use rechargeable batteries rather than single-use disposable batteries whenever possible. This reduces waste, saves energy, and over time will cost you less. Note that some rechargeable batteries are not suitable for some applications such as smoke alarms and emergency torches.

    • If you have to use disposable batteries, choose long-life brands. Plug appliances into the mains power supply as often as you can to extend the life of your battery.

    • Consider choosing products powered by alternative energy sources, such as solar-powered calculators or kinetic powered torches.

    We're advocating for product stewardship for batteries and electronic waste which will require the relevant industries to take responsibility for the waste they create. Until this happens, we will continue to do everything we can to keep these items out of the landfill.

  • Fireworks can be a lot of fun, but they also pose a high fire risk.

    Before disposing of used fireworks make sure these have properly cooled. Douse used fireworks with water and leave to cool for 24 hours before disposing of these in your red rubbish bin.

    If you have unused or faulty fireworks contact our transfer stations for advice on safe disposal. 

    Wanaka Transfer Station

    Frankton Transfer Station  

  • Ashes from BBQs and fireplaces can stay hot long after a fire has gone out and can start fires in household rubbish bins, rubbish trucks, transfer stations and landfills.

    Always empty ashes and ashtrays into a metal bin and pour water over them before disposal. Remember that ashes can take up to 5 days to cool. Ash, once completely cold can be placed your red rubbish bin.  

    It is important that only cold ashes go in the bin, as even warm ashes have been known to melt a plastic wheelie bin.

    Did you know, ash from chemical free firewood can be great in the garden.