Less than five per cent of lithium-ion batteries sold in Australia are currently recovered and recycled. The rest end up in landfill.
That's prompting the question — what will happen when the volume of battery waste grows as more electric vehicles (EVs) start driving on our roads?
Most existing battery waste comes from small electronic devices like phones, laptops and power tools, so it is not yet a major problem.
But according to a report prepared for the Federal Department of Environment by Randall Environmental Consulting, the scale of waste is predicted to soar.
It found battery waste would grow at a rate of 20 per cent a year once the first wave of electric car batteries and home storage systems run out of zap towards the middle of the next decade.
Electric cars are expected to add the most to waste volumes, with a predicted yearly growth rate of 50 per cent.