Eco-conscious Battery World trouble-shoots GoSee Power Pack mystery and points to free battery recycling

December 18, 2008
Eco-conscious Battery World trouble-shoots GoSee Power Pack mystery and points to free battery recycling

The GoSee Projecta Rechargeable Power Pack PS 800-P was starting to fail. Was it just flat and not charging properly or was the main battery failing?

A GoSee visit to Battery World Geelong, Victoria solved the problem. Roger Langham checked it out in his comprehensive workshop.

The battery seemed ok but the turbo charge that he placed it on solved the problem.

The four and a half year old Power Pack was handed back fully charged in perfect condition.

Rogers advice is to ensure that it is placed back on normal charge after every use and to even re-charge on a weekly basis if it is not being used. This will keep it in prime condition Roger says.

GoSee uses the battery pack as an emergency vehicle starting aid in case our Engel refrigerator runs the car battery flat.

Not that is has yet even after three days and nights of continuous running.

It is also used to power an inverter for 240v power for a laptop and to recharge mobile phones while GoSee is out on the road.

The latest model Projecta Rechargeable Power Packs are available at Battery World outlets priced at $169. Battery World Geelong also supplied new batteries for our five-year-old GoSee Toshiba Satellite laptop computer.

Battery World is also up to speed on battery recycling to help protect the environment -

Battery World told GoSee that most batteries contain heavy metals which is the main cause for environmental concern. Disposed of incorrectly, the heavy metals may leak into the ground when the battery erodes.

This contributes to soil and water pollution and endangers wildlife. Some components in batteries can be toxic to fish and make them unfit for human consumption.

Each year Australians discard about 8,000 tonnes of used batteries. The Australian Bureau of Statistics says in a report published in November 2003 (4602.0 Environmental Issues Peoples Views and Practices).

Battery World says batteries are the most common form of hazardous waste disposed of by Australian Households, with 97 percent of those disposing of them doing it via their usual rubbish collection.

To the average Australian consumer, a battery is a battery. They are not always aware of its chemistry, its ability to be recycled or the effects that battery can have on our environment if disposed of incorrectly.

In Australia, except for lead acid type chemistries, all other battery disposal collection for recycling overseas is carried out by MRI Australia. At present MRI export batteries to recycling facilities in France and Asia, Battery World said.

GoSee office works anywhere off  battery power
GoSee office works anywhere off battery power

But scientists, industry, environmentalists, government and recyclers are presently investigating the feasibility of building Australias first plant for recycling consumer product batteries e.g. Alkaline household batteries.


Battery World offer consumers a free battery recycling service. Businesses are welcome to contact a Battery World store to make commercial arrangements to dispose of their batteries
or the can go to MRI direct - www.mri.com.au.

Mobile Phone Battery Recycling

The mobile phone industry, because of its desire to maintain high environmental standards, has voluntarily developed the Mobile Phone Industry Recycling Program (MPIRP).

The program aims to ensure that potentially toxic components in mobile phones and batteries do not end up in landfill, but rather are recycled.

The MPIRP is a voluntary scheme where the participating members provide the necessary funding by paying a levy on each handset sold into the Australian market.

Serious solar panel helps keep battery power topped up in the Defender
Serious solar panel helps keep battery power topped up in the Defender

The collected phone handsets, batteries and accessories are recycled under contract by MRI Australia.

The recycling process prevents the reformation of environmentally damaging compounds such as dioxins and furans in the exhaust gas stream. It provides a complete breakdown of chemical compounds and is suitable for all phones and batteries including the newer Lithium Ion and Lithium Polymer types.

But in a 2004 published report, the handset manufacturing industrys peak representative body, the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA), revealed that the collection scheme has only caught a fraction of the estimated 5.5 million mobiles retired since it started in 1999.

Current Battery Recycling Procedures:

Normal Household Batteries - Alkaline

Since the early 1990's nearly all alkaline batteries have been manufactured with no mercury added. These batteries are considered non-hazardous waste and are safe for disposal in the normal municipal waste stream.

Rob added Thumper with an inverter for big battery reserves
Rob added Thumper with an inverter for big battery reserves

Recycling of alkaline batteries is still considered too expensive to be a commercial reality, however an Australian company is working on building the first alkaline battery recycling plant which will allow the recovery of up to 30 percent of the battery.

Currently these batteries are sent to landfill by usual means or if in large volumes may be encapsulated in concrete.

Carbon-Zinc

These batteries are considered non-hazardous waste and are safe for disposal in the normal municipal waste stream.

Recycling of carbon zinc batteries is still considered too expensive to be a commercial reality. These batteries are sent to landfill by usual means or if in large volumes may be encapsulated in concrete.

Industrial Batteries - Lithium

Lithium (metal) batteries contain no toxic metals but there is a possibility of fire if the metallic lithium is exposed to moisture upon cell corrosion, so it is recommended that these are returned to Battery World stores for recycling.

Arkarool Wilderness Sanctuary battery powered  bush camping
Arkarool Wilderness Sanctuary battery powered bush camping

Laptop Batteries - Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)

Li-Ion batteries do not contain metallic lithium and therefore are not an environmental risk. These batteries do however contain recyclable materials and are accepted for recycling by MRI.

Car Batteries - Lead Acid Sealed Lead Battery (SLA)

Lead Acid Batteries are recoverable to 96 percent and the materials extracted are used in remanufacturing of batteries, plastic moulding applications and the acid is neutralised and discharged.


Rechargeable Batteries

Nickel Cadmium (NiCd)

The toxic cadmium content renders these types of batteries hazardous to the environment. Returning them for recycling to the manufacturer or battery retailer is considered non-careless disposal. The Melbourne based company MRI are specialists in NiCd battery disposal.

For example - Cordless Phone Batteries

Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH)

Although Ni-MH batteries are considered environmentally friendly, this type of battery chemistry can be recycled. The Nickel component is semi-toxic and electrolyte in large amounts can be hazardous to the environment.

For example - mobile phone batteries.

Editor's Note: Here are helpful GoSee Information Articles on battery and solar power. There is also a Battery World chart to assist with calculating the actual amount of powerappliances use and you need to provide for.

Solar  panels top up battery power on this Heaslip option
Solar panels top up battery power on this Heaslip option
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