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CFA's battery assault
CFA is one of the largest consumers of single use, alkaline batteries in the Southern Hemisphere, and we can reduce our environmental impact by recycling them.
CFA uses tonnes of batteries to power our pagers every year. Putting used batteries in the rubbish bin means they end up in landfill where they can contaminate the environment by releasing toxic chemicals into soil and waterways. Batteries are recyclable. Recycling saves natural resources and reclaims metals, chemicals and other materials for reuse.
Many CFA brigades and firefighters already recycle their used pager batteries at Aldi, Bunnings and Officeworks stores and at local waste transfer stations, and over the past 12 months CFA has run battery recycling pilots in Districts 13, 14 and 22. These pilots measured the effectiveness of providing on-station collection points for battery recycling. The results showed that CFA firefighters will dispose of used batteries in an environmentally responsible way if a convenient collection service is available.
CFA is looking into establishing a whole-of-organisation battery recycling scheme. Until then, members are encouraged to recycle their used batteries wherever possible through programs already in place. To find out where you can recycle batteries locally, go to recyclingnearyou.com.au/batteries
CFA members can also help reduce environmental impacts by using their pagers in an efficient way. Firefighters can extend pager battery life of the new EAS Alpha pagers by:
- only using AA batteries provided by CFA
- changing the battery when the low battery alert/indicator comes on (not before)
- selecting the ‘time out’ rather than ‘continuous’ vibrate setting and
- checking the pager light is off when holstered. If the light is on, the pager remains ‘active’ and is draining the battery (if this is the case, return your holster to the district office for a replacement).