Can I Recycle My AA Batteries In New Zealand?


I’m not talking about car batteries – those you can take to any metal recycler and get about $2 for them.

I’m talking about non-rechargeable AA batteries (and battery sizes AAA, C and D).

All my AA’s are rechargeable except for the ones that come free sometimes with some electronics.

Like me, do you feel guilty when the non-rechargeable batteries are spent, and you throw them in the bin?

I’ve been told that especially the ones with mercury in them are hazardous to the environment, so what can we do with them?

Can we recycle them?

And more importantly is it free to do so? (If I have to courier them somewhere or drive 10km out of my way to deliver them to a collection point, forget it.  I’ll just throw them in the bin).

So what’s the solution?

I propose that household batteries are added to the list of items we can add to our recycling bins.  Surely someone can make a few dollars down the line by harvesting the metals from them?

What do you think?

9 Replies to “Can I Recycle My AA Batteries In New Zealand?”

  1. I think another thing to think about regarding AA batteries, is why do they come in a package of 4 million? Who on earth needs 4 million AA batteries at once? Ok, I might exaggerate a tad here. But seriously. Today, I was at Target and they had a TON of AA batteries. Guess how much was in a pack? Forty-eight! Yup, that’s 48 in a pack for around 14 bucks.

    I don’t know what’s wrong with the United States. They advocate environmentalism, but at the same time they selling 48 pack AA batteries.

    News flash. My wall clock only needs one. Remote: two (or one). Maybe some gizmo you might find laying around in your house use four. I don’t have any device that would take 48 batteries. Not to mention, even if I had a device that would use 4, by the time you would get to the end of the 48 pack, they would go bad, or at least close to it. If the energizer bunny keeps running for years, how many years would it take me to use up 48 of ’em?

    Another thing to maybe think about, that I’d say most people who needs 4 AA batteries in a device would probably get rechargeable batteries as opposed to keep buying throw-away-ables.

    So then, again, what’s up with the 48 pack AA batteries? Sheesh!

  2. If I purchased a 48 pack I would be thinking ahead to the day I would throw them all out. I don’t think I could handle the guilt. I’d have to buy them 2 at a time so I wouldn’t feel so guilty.

  3. Most, if not all dry cell batteries can be recycled. A bit of research and you will find places in New Zealand the will take them for recycling. Some will charge for their services and some will not. Give it time, and their will be drop off points in stores etc to recycle your dry cell batteries.

    1. Good luck with that. The government says, put them in the land fill. The only recycler that I could find is in the three main centers and charge. We live in Nelson so landfill it is. Maybe this is something that the Green Party should concentrate on instead of moaning about fiscal policy.

  4. Thanks Urban Miner. I guess we are waiting for the price of lead to go up further so it becomes viable to set up such collections.

  5. As with all recycling in NZ it is a case of critical mass…. and unfortunately we have a number of waste streams that are just not big enough to warrant the collection/transport costs. I save my batteries for the year and take them to the Hazmobile (hazardous waste collection) and at some point (so I’m told) when they have collected enough, they are incased in concrete (to neutralise the acid leaching) and placed in a Landfill.
    Personally I think we should take the petroleum/heavy metal waste streams (that cannot be presently recycled), separate them and bury them ( bunded of course) to be mined in the future when critical mass has been reached and there is a shortage of oil.

  6. I have carried an assortment of AA and AAA batteries with me from India to New Zealand, in order to find some safe place to dispose of them. I found your blog, hoping to find the answer. And I did, in a roundabout way. I googled the Hazmobile, and learned this:
    “The Hazmobile accepts all kinds of batteries for recycling including car, computer, camera and phone batteries. It also accepts rechargeable Nickel Cadmium (Ni Cad) batteries.
    Note that single use zinc carbon, zinc chloride, and alkaline (AA, AAA, C and D sized) are not classified as hazardous waste and can be disposed of in the normal household rubbish.
    Rechargeable Nickel Cadmium batteries are the exception and this is why they can come to the Hazmobile.”
    Good. I just threw them in the trash, and came back to let you know the good news.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *