Fire risk, are you disposing of your batteries safely?

Pile of household batteries

Recycle for Greater Manchester are urging all residents living across Greater Manchester to dispose of batteries safely at dedicated recycling points.

Across the industry this year there have been two bin collection wagon fires caused by batteries placed in household waste bins. The first was caused by a nickel-cadmium battery, the type used in household items such as toys and remote controls and the second thought to be caused by a camping lamp battery. Thankfully no one was harmed in these incidents due to the swift action of the bin crews but it does highlight the need for residents to safely dispose of their batteries.

Batteries should not be placed into any household waste or recycling bin as all of them have the potential to spark. Collection vehicles can damage and bend batteries, releasing some hazardous chemicals and energy, potentially causing an internal short circuit. Other materials in your bin, in particular paper and plastic, can spread a fire.

It’s simple and free to recycle regular household batteries. You can take them to your local Household Waste and Recycling Centre. There are 20 across Greater Manchester. Or you can take them when you go shopping and drop them off at designated containers located near the checkouts or exits at most local supermarkets.

Across the UK, every year we throw away an average of 24 waste batteries each. They can be found in your laptop, mobile phone, smoke alarms and your children’s toys. Rechargeable batteries can last for up to several hundred charging cycles resulting in less waste being produced. They are the most environmentally friendly option, compared to disposable batteries but care still needs to be taken when recycling them.

Councillor Nigel Murphy, Chair of Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority said:

“We’re calling on local residents to recycle their batteries at dedicated recycling points and not to put them in their bins at home. We are committed to reducing the risk of fires and explosions caused by batteries and we hope that Greater Manchester residents will take the advice seriously and dispose of their batteries with care. Batteries can be recycled, saving energy and natural resources in the process. So a small action like taking your batteries to one of our Recycling Centres or your local supermarket will make a big difference to the environment and everyone’s safety”

For more information about what can go in your bin, please visit the What can I recycle at home page or refer to your local council calendar or leaflet.

Recycle for Greater Manchester