New initiative for recycling batteries

28 November 2022
End-of-life battery research receives funding
Researchers and industry come together to solve battery recycling issues for everyday items such as mobile phones, laptops, tablets and even electric toothbrushes.
Lithium Battery

Research into how NSW can best recycle end-of-life batteries has received a funding boost from the NSW Government’s Boosting Business Innovation Program and industry.

Researchers at the University of Sydney and the Australian Battery Recycling Initiative have teamed up to champion the safe and sustainable expansion of NSW's lithium battery recycling industry.

The project recognises the importance of battery recycling and aligns with the NSW government's Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy.

The project is led by Associate Professor Penelope Crossley, in the Law School at University of Sydney and Katharine Hole, CEO Australian Battery Recycling Initiative. 

Associate Professor Crossley said: “Over 90 percent of consumer batteries are dumped in landfill in Australia. This hazardous waste needs to be properly handled to avoid serious harm to human health and safety, and the environment. With lithium battery waste increasing by 20 percent annually, the challenge of managing end-of-life batteries will grow significantly over the next decade.

“Previous research shows regulatory failure is a significant barrier to battery recycling and reuse. This research uniquely places us to co-design the development of a regulatory framework for use in Australia. It will also deliver solutions to challenges emerging in international markets.”

Lithium batteries are a type of rechargeable battery mostly used in portable consumer electronics, such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops, Bluetooth headsets and headphones, game controllers, digital cameras, shavers, smart watches and electric toothbrushes or power tools. They are also used in electric vehicles, including scooters, e-bikes and wheelchairs.

The research received $50,000 in funding from the Program, in addition to funding from ABRI, Battery Pollution and LCC Asia Pacific.

ABRI Member & lithium battery recycling technology company, Battery Pollution (, is contributing substantial expertise and research resources to the project. Battery Pollution is advancing research and commercial application for large scale recycling – including the process of taking battery energy storage systems from decommissioning through to recycling. 

This project recognises that a successful and commercial battery recycling industry is essential to the clean energy circular economy and national security. ABRI has seven lithium battery recycler members from fully operational to entrepreneurial start-up businesses. These businesses are spearheading Australian lithium battery recycling industry expansion and innovation.

“The critical outcome is to spearhead the development of solutions to industry challenges being faced locally and overseas. This will underpin Australian leadership in a safe and sustainable lithium battery recycling industry,” said Katharine Hole, CEO Australian Battery Recycling Initiative.

If you are a researcher or business and would like to participate in the project contact

Interview requests with Associate Professor Penelope Crossley:
Contact media adviser: Tess Gibney 0479 173 546 |
After hours: 0402 972 137 (note: this number cannot receive text messages)

Declaration: The research was proudly funded by a $50,000 grant from the NSW Government, with $53,000 in-kind support from ABRI, Battery Pollution and LCC Asia Pacific.

Media Contact

Tess Gibney

Assistant Media and PR Adviser (Central)
  • Jane Foss Russell Building G02

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