Recycle batteries, mobile phones and light bulbs
There are many easy and convenient ways to recycle your old batteries, mobiles and light bulbs.
Project Status: When you need to do this
Batteries, mobile phones and light bulbs don’t belong in your rubbish or recycling bin
They can cause fires in our collection trucks and harm our community.
What you need to do
Where you can recycle them
- rechargeable and non-rechargeable
- small handheld batteries from any brand
- AA, AAA, C, D, 9V, 6V lantern, watch and button batteries
Other big batteries, like those in power tools or hoverboards
Leaking or damaged batteries
Put on gloves and place leaking or damaged batteries in a clear plastic bag.
How to recycle batteries safely
- Store your batteries in a cool, dry place, away from a heat source. For example, don’t store in the sun or near the oven.
- Don’t use a metal container to store batteries.
- Don’t mix household batteries with other battery types like car batteries.
- Drop off your collected batteries regularly.
For mobile phones and their accessories
You can recycle all types of mobile phones plus their chargers, cables, batteries kept in the phone, and headphones at:
- Recycling stations in customer service centres and libraries
- Book a power pick-up with RecycleSmart
- Recycle It Saturday drop-off events
- A MobileMuster collection point – drop-off and free mailing options available.
Don’t forget to delete your data. Make sure all data is permanently wiped from your device before you recycle or give it away. The recycling process doesn't include data wiping, only recycling.
For light bulbs
Where you can recycle them
Household light bulbs – not including fluorescent tubes
Where to find our recycling stations
Old household batteries (no big batteries, like car batteries), mobile phones and light bulbs (no large lamps or fluorescent tubes) can be dropped off at one of our recycling stations, located at our customer service centres, libraries or community centres listed below.
Customer service centres
- Town Hall customer service centre – look for the recycling station on the first floor, near the Kent Street entrance
- Glebe customer service centre
- Kings Cross customer service centre
- Surry Hills Library
- Customs House Library
- Darling Square Library
- Green Square Library
- Newtown Library
- Waterloo Library
After you finish
Our contractor collects and recycles the items locally, using state-of-the-art processes and facilities.
In their next life:
- old batteries can come back as brand new ones
- mobile phones can be taken apart and ‘mined’ for gold, silver and palladium
- light bulbs can be broken down and recycled into glass wool insulation and the mercury recovered for other uses.
Why it’s important to recycle it right
Batteries, mobile phones and light bulbs placed in your rubbish or recycling bin can cause fires in our collection trucks and harm our community.
If these items end up in a recycling plant or landfill, they can contaminate recyclable materials, leach toxic chemicals into our soil and possibly even contaminate the groundwater table – the source of our drinking water.
Some also contain valuable resources, like precious metals, that can be used in the production of new materials. This helps reduce the need for mining raw materials and associated environmental impacts.