Don't Bin Batteries

Batteries igniting after being binned caused 27 fires across Lancashire's waste facilities

Shock new figures have revealed that there have been 27 fires since the start of 2023 at Lancashire's waste facilities, caused by batteries that were not recycled properly.

Batteries are found in a large number of items in our homes, from toys, toothbrushes, and remote controls, to mobile phones and vapes.

If they are put into household bins, they can cause fires in homes, waste collection vehicles or at waste processing sites, putting people at risk, disrupting services and causing unnecessary extra costs.

Now, a new campaign has been launched to raise awareness of how to recycle batteries and electricals properly.

The most recent fire was in a metal storage skip at the Farington Waste Recovery Park in November, which took firefighters two hours to put out.

Last year nationally, around 700 fires were caused by batteries thrown away in bins, mostly caused by lithium-ion batteries igniting when they are damaged or crushed.

The Environmental Services Association revealed that these fires cost services and waste operators more than £150m every year.

County Councillor Shaun Turner, cabinet member for Environment and Climate Change, said: "We all have a responsibility to reduce the risks posed by dangerous 'hidden batteries' which have caused a number of serious fires at our recycling sites this year.

"Research has shown that many people are just unaware that batteries are inside everyday items like vapes, electric toothbrushes, and power tools. If it has a wire or plug, battery or requires charging it needs to be disposed of separately.

"If you throw a battery in with your household rubbish, there's no way it can be recycled safely. Even when items no longer work, batteries can still cause fires."

To find out more about how to recycle batteries safely, visit Lancashire County Council's website for handy hints and tips contained in a new A-Z of recycling