How incorrect battery disposal is putting our transfer stations at risk
It is estimated that we throw away around 600 million batteries a year in the UK. That’s why it’s so important that they are disposed of in the correct way. When used batteries aren’t recycled properly, they can cause serious damage to waste and recycling facilities.
As a result of incorrect battery disposal, we have experienced a number of small fires at our transfer stations.
How the everyday household battery can cause fires
There are three main types of batteries; portable (rechargeable and non-chargeable), automotive and industrial. All three types need to be recycled using dedicated battery recycling services.
Lithium-ion batteries are the most dangerous types of batteries, when not recycled properly. These types of batteries can be found in; mobile phones, power tools, electric toothbrushes, laptops, e-cigarettes and other everyday appliances.
When batteries are disposed of in the same way as general or recycling waste, they are likely to be handled in ways that we would never knowingly treat used batteries. For example, they may be compacted, punctured, or covered in liquid. If batteries get even slightly wet or become overheated, they are at risk of igniting and starting a fire.
Not only do these fires put the lives of our members of staff and customers at risk, they also disrupt our waste management services and can cause major damage to our sites. Furthermore, with the vast amount of dry mixed recyclables and other flammable materials we hold at our sites, the risk of fire spreading fast is high.
How batteries can pose a threat to the environment
As previously mentioned, incorrect battery disposal can cause fires, risking damage to the surrounding environment and wildlife. In addition to that, corroding batteries begin to leak mercury, cadmium and other chemicals into soil and eventually, surface water, causing water pollution. Water pollution can disrupt marine life and contaminate water supplies.
How to correctly dispose of batteries
All types of batteries should be recycled using a specialised battery recycling service. You can bring your batteries to one of our sites and we will ensure they are recycled responsibly.
Batteries should not be disposed of along with any other waste, including in skips or wheeled bins.
If you are uncertain about how to recycle your batteries or would like more information, please call us on 01483 504595.