Dangers of throwing dead ‘zombie’ batteries into household bins
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This Halloween consumers are being reminded never to put spent batteries in with general rubbish but to recycle them using specialist collection points.
Dead ‘zombie’ batteries can wreak havoc if they are thrown away with other waste and recycling. They are likely to be crushed when the waste is collected and processed and some batteries, such as lithium-ion (Li-ion) can ignite or even explode when they are damaged.
This can set fire to other waste like paper, leading to serious incidents and put lives at risk.
Lithium-ion batteries are often found in everyday products like laptops, tablets, mobile phones, electric toothbrushes, power tools, scooters and even e-cigarettes.
The Environmental Services Association, the trade body representing the UK’s waste management industry, estimates that the UK recycling and waste management sector is
seeing, on average, one significant fire every day in the UK caused by improperly discarded batteries.
stores or their local household waste recycling centre.
Waste experts hope that by encouraging people to recycle batteries responsibly, it will reduce the number of “zombie batteries” placed in general waste and recycling and reduce
the risk of fire and harm to life.
Alistair Beattie, is the Community Education Liaison Officer based at the award-winning BDR Waste Treatment Facility at Manvers, which diverts 97 per cent of Barnsley, Doncaster, and Rotherham household waste from landfill.
“Batteries are used throughout the home, and it is important that they are disposed of correctly. Fires caused by batteries placed in household waste can pose a danger to people
working on refuse lorries or in waste recycling and treatment plants,” said Alistair.
“We are asking everyone to please recycle batteries responsibly in the correct way by either using battery collection points in shops or using their local household waste collection
centre. Vaping devices can often be recycled by taking them back to the stores they were bought from.”