Nutrients from recycled batteries have been found to work as effective fertiliser, thanks to a groundbreaking study carried out on farms in Tambellup. Lithium Australia conducted a trial using the manganese and zinc recovered from single-use alkaline batteries as fertiliser blends at farms across the region for this year’s harvest. The results demonstrated the fertiliser was more effective at wheat cultivation than the control group. Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin said the success of the trial was a step towards more sustainable use of batteries. “Rather than being consigned to landfill, where they are potentially an environmental hazard, these batteries can be recycled to produce materials that benefit the environment by improving crop yields,” he said. “It’s not only a significant step towards worldwide environmental management of the issue but could also have a powerful influence on the sustainability of disposable batteries.” Mr Griffin said while the results were pleasing, there was still a long way to go until they could provide a “sustainable solution to a big waste problem”. “The utilisation of manganese and zinc derived from spent alkaline batteries shows immense promise as a micronutrient for broadacre farming.” he said. “We’re cognisant of the environmental implications of burying such ‘waste’, and encourage all consumers to join us in recycling every spent battery for the benefit of the environment now for the sake of the future.” He said the broader aim of Lithium Australia’s operations was to recycle “all the metals within spent batteries, which is something that’s rarely done effectively”. The results come as Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced late last week Australia would open its first lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant in NSW.