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How to safely dispose of drone batteries

Published by Josh Spires on 26 May, 2023, updated on 08 April, 2024.

How to safely dispose of drone batteries

Drone batteries, like any other rechargeable batteries, require special care when it comes to disposing of them safely. It is important to dispose of drone batteries properly to protect the environment and prevent potential hazards. This guide provides you with valuable information on how to safely dispose of drone batteries.

Note: Under no circumstances should you dispose of drone batteries in regular household waste or throw them in the trash. Drone batteries contain hazardous materials that can harm the environment if not disposed of correctly and result in fires when being transported.

Before disposing of a battery, ensure it has been discharged as much as possible to remove as much of the potential energy.

Understand the battery type

Drones use range of batteries with different chemistries, such as lithium-ion (Li-ion), lithium polymer (LiPo), or nickel-metal hydride (NiMH). It's crucial to know the specific battery chemistry and type used in your drone, as the disposal methods may vary. Refer to your drone's user manual or manufacturer's guidelines to figure out the battery type.

Check with the manufacturer

Before disposing of a drone battery, consider contacting the manufacturer or visiting their official website. Some manufacturers have specific guidelines or programs in place for battery disposal. They may provide information on nearby collection centres or recycling facilities that accept drone batteries. Manufacturer guidance should always be followed as they have the most up-to-date information regarding their products.

Safe battery disposal in Australia

Australia has a number of programs and collection centres that are more than happy to take your old drone batteries. Often, local councils with have locations where you can drop off old batteries once you provide proof you live within the council boundaries. Councils will usually accept all types of batteries used to power drones.

The other option is to go to a local store that provides battery recycling. These include Bunnings and Battery World. There are a number of other companies that offer recycling, but only for AA, AAA, C, D and 9V batteries. Make sure to check with the company before dropping of an old battery.

Not sure where your nearest battery recycling drop-off point is? Find it via Planet Ark's Recycling Near You website.

Precautions to take when disposing of a drone battery

  • Avoid physical damage - Ensure that the battery is not damaged, punctured, or swollen, as damaged batteries can pose a safety risk.
  • Fully discharge the battery - If the drone battery still holds a charge, it's recommended to discharge it completely before disposal. Refer to your drone's user manual or the manufacturer's instructions on how to discharge the battery safely.
  • Tape the battery terminals - Cover the battery terminals with electrical tape to prevent any accidental contact or short-circuiting during storage or transportation.

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