Household batteries are considered to be hazardous waste and require specialist handling, so they MUST NOT be placed in black bags or household recycling. Doing this can damage the batteries which may lead to fires in collection vehicles and at waste facilities, resulting in a danger to life, damaging equipment and causing delays to key services. According to Materials Focus, research suggests within a one year period in the UK over 700 fires were caused by binned batteries.
Lithium batteries in particular pose a high risk as these batteries can easily ignite, spread a fire or combust if overheated. Lithium batteries are found in many household items, from handheld devices and children’s toys to greetings cards with audio/animation.
Fire Improvement works
Due to the risk of fires occurring at waste management facilities, extensive upgrading works have taken place across local sites. This has seen additional fire safety detection and extinguishing equipment installed, including two large tanks that ensure water is held onsite to enable a quick response to extinguish any fires occurring. However, carrying out this kind of work is expensive and causes disruption, so to reduce the need for any further upgrades it is vital to improve the prevention of battery related fires batteries are disposed of correctly.
How/ Where do I dispose of batteries?
You can take batteries to your local Reuse and Recycling Centre or to a number of other locations such as shops and libraries to be safely recycled. Use this locator to find your nearest battery recycling collection point or see the links below and visit your Borough’s website for more information.
Keep lithium batteries separate!
Reduce the risk of fire – when disposing of lithium batteries, ensure to place them in a separate bag as they can cause fires when mixed with other batteries. To find out more, visit the Take Charge website.
What happens to batteries?
Other hazardous items
Certain other hazardous types of waste can be taken to your local Reuse and Recycling Centre or be collected from your property by the City of London Hazardous Waste Service which is free of charge to residents of most London boroughs.
Empty gas bottles can be taken to your local Reuse and Recycling Centre or they can be taken back to the company that supplied them.
Household asbestos can be taken to the Frizlands Lane, Gerpins Lane and Jenkins Lane RRCs. The Chigwell Road RRC does not accept asbestos. Please make an appointment before you bring asbestos to an RRC by calling 0800 389 9918.
You can also arrange for a free collection by the City of London Hazardous Waste Service.
Household fluorescent tubes can be taken to your local Reuse and Recycling Centre.
Certain chemicals can be collected by the City of London Hazardous Waste Service. Please refer to the City of London’s list of accepted items for more information.