Lead acid batteries are either recycled in Australia or exported for processing. All other battery types are exported for recycling, mostly to Korea. With the exception of lead acid batteries, the value of the recovered metals from batteries is less than the cost of collection, transport and recycling.
About 90% of batteries used in emergency and exit lighting are either nickel cadmium (Ni-Cd), nickel metal hydride (Ni-MH) or sealed lead acid (SLA). It’s estimated that 5 million batteries are sent to landfill each year. Cadmium, lead and nickel are toxic heavy metals that need to be carefully managed to minimise their potential impact on humans and the natural environment.