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Emergency and exit lighting battery recycling pilot

Emergency lighting batteries are among the most hazardous of all batteries. They commonly contain cadmium, nickel and lead, which are toxic heavy metals that need to be carefully managed to minimise potential impacts on humans and the natural environment. Currently, less than 5% of these batteries are being recycled.

In response, the department is funding a pilot program for recycling emergency and exit lighting batteries —an initiative of Lighting Council Australia, the peak body for Australia's lighting industry. Recycling will ensure that these materials are safely recovered rather than disposed to landfill.

The pilot program, EXITCYCLE, will investigate the collection, recycling and safe disposal of emergency and exit lighting batteries from participating businesses. It will run in Queensland for 12 months and provide valuable information on collection and recycling issues associated with this class of batteries.

The aim is to migrate the pilot scheme to a fully-fledged national voluntary recycling program at the end of the trial. Emergency and exit lighting is used in a wide range of commercial and industrial buildings. Almost all rely on batteries for back-up power. If your organisation would like to be involved in this trial, please email for more information.

EXITCYCLE will be based on, and complements Lighting Council Australia’s existing FluoroCycle scheme for end-of-life mercury containing lamps.

Last updated
16 October 2015