New campaign to raise awareness of battery fires and encouraging recycling in Sunderland
People are being warned about the dangers of putting batteries and electrical items containing batteries in your household rubbish and general recycling bins and instead are being urged to recycle them.
There have been over 300 incidents across the country in the last year where fires during waste processing are believed to have been caused by damaged batteries: 19 of them within the South Tyne and Wear area.
Ken Corbett, National Waste Fire Tactical Advisor and Head of Operations at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “If you put batteries in your general rubbish or recycling, during processing they can be crushed, punctured or shredded. Damaged batteries can leak toxic materials and can become very hot and spark, setting fire to any combustible materials around them. This is particularly hazardous in waste facilities or in collection vehicles, where they can cause large fires and present a real danger to life.
“Fires that involve batteries can prove very challenging and difficult to extinguish, and have a detrimental effect on the environment. I would remind people to dispose of batteries responsibly, and not amongst your general household waste or recycling.”
Already underway, the campaign will involve the three councils who make up the partnership placing stickers on the bins of every household throughout Gateshead, Sunderland and South Tyneside, asking residents to never put batteries in their bins, and to dispose of them responsibly.
Councillor Linda Green, Chair of the Partnership, said: “Used batteries can be recycled in so many places these days. Most supermarkets, DIY shops or anywhere that sells batteries, as well and many public buildings have battery recycling points.
“Likewise, both batteries and electrical items containing batteries can be recycled at any Household Waste and Recycling Centre. This includes mobile phones, electric toothbrushes, power tools and electronic vaping devices. Larger retailers also have a duty to safely dispose of your old electrical items when you’re buying a new one from them. There’s really no excuse for throwing them in your bin at home.”
To find the nearest battery recycling points in your area visit your local council website and search for ‘Battery’, or www.recycleyourelectricals.org.uk