Rubbish & recycling  |  30 May 2024

Disposing of common household batteries correctly will help to keep these potentially hazardous items out of our rubbish and recycling – and stop fires from occurring.

Over the past year there have been 13 fires across the kerbside service, with 10 occurring at the EcoDrops, two at the EcoSort and one in a collection truck.

Batteries that can be dropped off for free include:
  • AA, AAA, C, and D cell batteries
  • alkaline cell
  • lithium
  • 9-volt
  • Cr123 camera batteries
  • dry cell and zinc
  • Li-ion batteries (from laptops, cameras, cell phones and tools)
  • NiCd
  • NiMH
  • gel cell
  • removable mobile phone batteries. If your old mobile phone doesn’t have a removable battery, drop the phone off at a Vodafone, Spark or 2Degrees retailer and it will be recycled through the Re:mobile scheme(external link) or at an EcoDrop Recycling Centre
  • car batteries can be dropped off at any EcoDrop Recycling Centre.

These could be reduced through more people using the battery collection scheme or alternative electronic takeback scheme, says Alec McNeil, Christchurch City Council Resource Recovery Manager. 

“Since 2020, Christchurch residents have helped keep almost 50 tonnes of household batteries out of rubbish and recycling trucks and the EcoSort recycling facility through our battery recycling scheme. It is free to dispose of most common unwanted household batteries safely through the scheme and we really encourage people to use this.”

If you have a device such as a vape where the battery is embedded or difficult to remove, it can be taken to one of three Council EcoDrop Resource Recovery Centres,  located at Styx Mill, Metro Place and Parkhouse Road, along with one at Mitre 10 Papanui.

There are also two drop off points for vapes in the city via vape cycle. 

"Batteries and any items containing batteries such as vapes, electronic devices or tools don’t go in kerbside bins. If put in wheelie bins, batteries can become damaged and cause a fire, potentially harming and members of the public,” warns Mr McNeil.

“They contain numerous components that are bad for the environment and when not use they can deteriorate and become hazardous. Collecting batteries before they deteriorate means they can be recycled appropriately, saving valuable components for reuse and reducing the risk to people and the environment.”

Find out more, including battery drop-off locations at