Woolworths customers will be able to recycle used batteries and mobile phones during their regular supermarket visit with the roll out of new collection units nationwide.

Every Woolworths supermarket will offer customers a place to recycle used batteries and mobile phones, as Australia lags behind in recycling rates with only 10% of handheld household batteries being recycled compared to around 40% in the UK and Germany.

Being introduced in Victoria now, the rollout will continue in New South Wales in May with the recycling units to be available in all 1,000 Woolworths supermarkets by August 2021.

Once complete, Woolworths will offer the largest network of battery collection units in Australia and expects to collect up to two million batteries each month based on volumes collected during trials late last year.

Woolworths head of sustainability, Adrian Cullen said the supermarket is working towards a better tomorrow by reducing its environmental footprint and making it easier for customers to do the same.

“One way we can have a positive impact is through initiatives like our new battery recycling units, which make sustainability and recycling part of a regular routine for millions of customers who shop with us weekly.

“By offering a convenient place to drop off batteries and phones as part of their weekly shop, not only can we help prevent batteries going to landfill, but also reduce at home stockpiles which can be a safety risk.”

The recycling program is operated in partnership with battery recycler, Ecobatt. It will collect and process the batteries and phones – splitting the batteries into various materials for recycling and sending the remaining mobile phone components to Mobile Muster for specialised recycling.

The battery and mobile phone recycling units will join the REDcycle soft plastics collection bins available in every Woolworths store. This offers a recycling hub for household waste that can’t be recycled in most curbside council bins.