A hard-hitting report on BBC News has today (December 1, 2022) revealed that lithium-ion batteries are causing 700 fires in UK recycling centres or bin lorries every year.
It says the problem is getting worse and warns people to NEVER put lithium-ion batteries in their general waste or recycling. They must always be put into battery recycling containers in supermarkets or other collection points.
The report by BBC science correspondent Victoria Gill warns that “when crushed, lithium ion batteries can heat up and explode.”
One set a waste centre in Aberdeenshire on fire, completely destroying it.
Ben Johnson from the Environmental Services Association says: “People are putting these devices in their general rubbish or are mixing them with their normal recycling and that causes a real problem for waste facilities because they have a tendency once damaged to explode or ignite and are likely to be crushed, compacted, smashed or they might get wet and that can cause them to become damaged or short circuit. They are in the presence of lots of flammable material like plastic and paper and card and that can lead to quite big fires.”
The warning is quite simple. Never put lithium-ion batteries in your household waste but dispose of them safely in supermarkets or other collection points.
To find the one nearest to you go to https://www.recycleyourelectricals.org.uk/ and pop your postcode in.