Nelson is currently at COVID Alert Level 2. Learn about our services during this time.

Battery Disposal Guidelines

Batteries, particularly lithium-ion batteries from personal devices such as cellphones and computers, are a leading cause of fires in landfills and compactor trucks.  This is because when refuse is compacted or crushed, the batteries can be damaged and catch fire.

From 1 November 2021, items with a battery will no longer be accepted as refuse at the Waste Recovery Centre (Vivian Place Tahunanui).

This is because refuse in the hoppers is crushed, which can damage batteries and lead to fires. Broken computer and cellphone batteries are a leading cause of fires in both rubbish trucks and landfills.

There are options for disposing of loose batteries free of charge below, and more information on other options for recycling of e-waste items include Nelson Environment Centre which is located next to the Waste Recovery Centre and accepts electronic items for recycling and recovery, including batteries. A subsidy is available from Nelson City Council at Nelson Environment Centre (one per household per year) to assist with any cost. There is also a free e-cycling service available through a national TechCollect pilot programme for personal and small business electronic items which can be dropped off at Noel Leeming in Nelson. For more information go to: http://www.nelson.govt.nz/services/rethink-waste/recycle/e-waste-recycling/

To improve the life of your batteries, use rechargeable batteries where possible, or choose better quality batteries which last longer (please note that rechargeable batteries are not suitable for some applications such as smoke alarms or emergency torches). If your workplace uses significant amounts of batteries, check options from specialist companies and waste providers for safe recycling and disposal services.

Types of batteries and options for disposal

Lead acid batteries

  • Lead acid batteries are accepted by Nelson Environment Centre https://www.nec.org.nz/e-waste
  • Some garages and auto retailers may accept old car batteries

Other batteries

  • Every day loose household and office batteries up to the size of a power tool battery pack.
  • Rechargeable batteries (eg for personal devices such as cellphones, household rechargeable batteries, etc)
  • Single-use batteries (eg for hearing aids, cameras, toys, clocks, radios, calculators, etc)

Please note, this excludes electric vehicle batteries. Please discuss disposal options with the retailer from which you purchased the vehicle.

There are free drop off points at the following places:

  • Nelson Waste Recovery Centre
  • Nelson City Council Customer Service Centre (Civic House, 110 Trafalgar Street, Nelson)
  • Nelson Environment Centre: www.nec.org.nz/e-waste
  • There are public drop off points for recycling mobile phones including the Nelson City Council Customer Service Centre, the Elma Turner Library and many cellphone/electronic device retailers.

Marine flares