BATTERIES, including the humble AA battery, are the next frontier in waste recycling and Coffs Harbour City Council is already facing this challenge.
Councillors this week voted to approve Cr Sally Townley's proposal for a meeting between council's sustainability staff and local battery retailers to discuss options for battery recycling.
Battery recycling industry representative Mat Dobbs addressed the councillors on Thursday to ask the council for support in educating residents about the problem and providing collection points for used batteries.
"(Batteries) will grow exponentially as people move more and more to portable devices and off-grid systems," Mr Dobbs said.
Mr Dobbs said the good news was that 97% of a batteries could be recycled.
His company recycles lead acid batteries and sends AA batteries overseas for processing.
Among the bad news was that most people did not realise that batteries could be recycled and that no one in Australia was currently recycling AA batteries.
Mr Dobbs said the cost for processing AA batteries overseas was "astronomical".
He said lithium batteries like those used in mobile phones were explosive and could cause fires underground if broken when dumped in landfill.
It has recently been revealed that some batteries used by NBN Co in fibre to the premises fit-outs are already failing, which will also require homeowners to buy new batteries earlier than expected.