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Are you throwing your batteries away in your normal bins?

After a surge in cases of fires at waste and recycling plants nationwide, households across the UK have been urged not to throw away old batteries in waste bins.

It may appear that dead batteries are harmless once they are finished however experts have warned that they run the risk of causing fires at recycling centers as they can be punctured and leak hazardous waste.

On October the 26th, Environmental Services Association relieved that lithium-ion batteries were the suspected cause of 38 percent of fires at waste treatment plants between April 2019 and March 2020.

This equates to lithium-ion batteries potentially causing 250 fires a year.

How can you dispose of old batteries safely?

  • ESA Executive Director, Jacob Hayler, said: “Fires caused by carelessly discarded batteries endanger lives, cause millions of pounds of damage, and disrupt waste services.
  • “We urge consumers to please recycle batteries responsibly by using battery recycling points in shops and recycling centres, or a separate battery kerbside collection if available.”
  • The Take Charge website has more information about where to recycle batteries responsibly nearest to you.
  • You can also recycle batteries at many Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs). Type your postcode into the recycle-more recycling locator to find where you can recycle your batteries.

Battery recycling laws came into force in February 2010, and now most shops and supermarkets that sell batteries have to have collection bins in-store for used batteries. You can also find them in some town halls, libraries and schools.

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