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ABRI Member Bulletin ~ 16 February 2022

Advancing Australian battery recycling industry capacity

  1. B-cycle launch – marking a step change in Australian battery recycling industry capacity
  2. Most visited section of ABRI’s website – searching for information on battery recyclers – is your information up to date?
  3. Tools to navigate the battery recycling regulatory maze – 1pm AEST, 23 February
  4. Industry’s views on priorities for research, development of tools and removal of regulatory barriers to support lithium batteries and recycling (2-3pm AEST, 24 February)
  5. ABRI AGM – 1pm (AEST) Thursday 3 March
  6. Feedback to BSC on draft container protocols and risk assessment guidance materials by Friday 26 February
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1. B-CYCLE LAUNCH - MARKING A STEP CHANGE IN AUSTRALIAN BATTERY RECYCLING INDUSTRY CAPACITY

I had the joy and privilege of participating in a panel to launch B-cycle. This initiative will provide a strong boost to battery recycling capacity in Australia.

B-cycle has produced a range of useful materials to encourage households and businesses with small amounts of used batteries to:

  • drop them off at B-cycle accredited participants; and
  • encourage them to buy batteries with the B-cycle logo.

There’s also a helpful function to search by postcode for drop-off locations.

While I have only recently become part of the journey, I can see how hard ABRI members have worked to get to where we are today. Well run and smooth operations do not happen overnight.

As always, please reach out to me if there are solutions and options for improving B-cycle operations, training materials that could support or any other ways that ABRI can make your life easier engaging with B-cycle or government.

Finally, a big shout out to Gerry, Libby, Jade, Brett and Kirsten for all the work you’ve done to establish the scheme. It’s a pleasure collaborating with you and congratulations on the launch. ABRI looks forward to working with you to support the scheme’s success.

Katharine Hole, CEO, ABRI – 16 February 2022

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2. MOST VISITED SECTION OF ABRI'S WEBSITE - SEARCHING FOR BATTERY RECYCLERS - IS YOUR INFORMATION UP TO DATE?

In the last 30 days (to 15 February), the most visited section of the ABRI website is finding a battery recycler with over 1,000 views. Other facts of interest:

  • Visitors spent almost 60 seconds on average reviewing an individual company profile
  • Some company profiles are viewed for over 120 seconds

Since the start of 2022, the ABRI Secretariat has received a number of requests for battery recycling services from commercial businesses or other entities looking for battery collection services at scale. Here are some examples:

  • electric bus and vehicle batteries
  • councils looking to establish collection points and services
  • nickel metal hydride scrap
  • schools
  • lead acid battery recyclers

These requests are referred to the ABRI website.

With so much interest in battery recycling, please check that your company information is up to date and helps answer the questions the ABRI Secretariat is receiving. If you have any queries and/or would like to update your company’s information, please reach out to ABRI CEO, Katharine Hole, via secretariat@batteryrecycling.org.au.

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3. TOOLS TO NAVIGATE THE BATTERY RECYCLING REGULATORY MAZE - 1PM (AEST), 23 FEBRUARY

Join ABRI and Deakin University for a presentation on project progress to make it easier to navigate the battery recycling regulatory maze. This project is part of a broader ABRI-storEnergy collaboration initiative to identify the challenges involved in recycling lithium-ion batteries and to provide a guide for recyclers. The presentation is 1-2pm (AEST) on Wednesday 23 February. If you would like to join the event email secretariat@batteryrecycling.org.au.

A major challenge for the industry is the multitude of regulatory bodies within and across states and territories, from transport and storage to safety labelling and waste disposal.

Industry wants clarity to be able to answer questions such as: What material have I got, how do I store it, and how do I move it?

Since November 2021, these issues have been investigated by a multi-disciplinary project team of two Deakin law students and two PhD students from the ARC Training Centre for Future Energy Storage Technologies (storEnergy).

The project investigation is split into two pathways – lead acid batteries, where the recycling industry is well established, and mixed batteries (lithium, alkaline, nickel etc), which includes new and emerging technology.

The legal side of the project team will present on the framework they’ve developed to help guide you through the regulatory maze by using the 3 building blocks of:

  1.  Product description – what types of batteries do you have?
    1. Battery chemistry
    2. Battery condition – damaged, leaking, etc
    3. Volume or quantity
  2. Activity – what are you doing with the used batteries?
    1. Transporting
    2. Storing
    3. Recycling
  3. Risk minimisation – What’s the primary regulatory objective of minimising risks to humans and the environment from your activity? In practice, there is a lot of overlap between the objectives and rules. Achieving one objective will often achieve the other two objectives or go towards achieving them. An understanding of the entire framework helps you understand who regulates and what legislation governs the activity.
    1. Human health and safety (e.g.WHS)
    2. Environment protection (e.g. EPA licensing but in consultation with other agencies especially fire and work safety)
    3. Prevent and reduce damage to people, property and the environment (e.g. especially during transport due to the unique risks associated with moving dangerous goods)

This framework is for testing with the recycling industry and learning where it can be improved to help make your life easier.

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4. INDUSTRY'S VIEWS ON PRIORITIES FOR RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT OF TOOLS AND REMOVAL OF REGULATORY BARRIERS TO SUPPORT LITHIUM BATTERIES AND RECYCLING (2-3PM, AEST, 24 FEBRUARY)

Join ABIA and ABRI members for a presentation (2-3pm AEST, Thursday 24 February) from Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre (FBICRC) Research Manager Richard Macoun on the CRC work program:

  • Development of a national battery testing centre
  • Lithium battery standards
  • Battery energy storage system fire testing with the fire services
  • Assisting to remove policy barriers to develop a circular economy
    • Solutions for reducing the costs of lithium battery recycling
    • Need to consolidate voices across the value chain•

Richard is particularly keen to hear from the battery industry and recyclers on:

  • What regulatory hurdles does your battery supply/recycling company face in doing business?
  • What certifications and standards are needed to ensure the safety and efficiency of the battery industry in Australia?
  • What infrastructure, such as testing centres, is needed to support the Australian battery industry?
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5. ABRI AGM - 1PM (AEST) 3 MARCH

The ABRI AGM will be held online on Thursday 3 March commencing at 1pm (Sydney). An email has been sent to members with the agenda, voting proxy form and background on processes for the meeting. If you have not received the invitation and information, please contact secretariat@batteryrecycling.org.au.

As much as the ABRI Executive Committee would have liked to meet with you face-to-face, in the current climate the AGM will be online only, short and focus on updating you on ABRI business and financial activities for 2021. If there are matters you would like to raise at the AGM, please reach out to Katharine Hole, CEO, ABRI via email.

 

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6. FEEDBACK TO BSC ON DRAFT CONTAINER PROTOCOLS, RISK ASSESSMENT GUIDANCE AND COLLECTION NETWORK REQUIREMENTS BY FRIDAY 26 FEBRUARY

To support the BSC in timely finalisation of its guidance material, could you please provide feedback to Jade Barnaby, Director, Best Practice and Innovation by Friday 26 February. BSC is looking for feedback on these B-cycle draft guidance notes:

  1. Container Protocols
  2. Conducting a risk assessment – drop-off points
  3. Conducting a risk assessment – collectors, sorters and recyclers
  4. Collection network requirements
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