Never bin loose or hidden batteries

May 13, 2024

Loose batteries and batteries hidden in our electricals can cause fires in bin lorries and recycling centres.

There are hidden batteries inside electrical items – when these are thrown away in household bins, the batteries get crushed in bin lorries and recycling centres and can cause fires.

If possible, remove batteries from your electricals and recycle them separately. If you’re unable to remove the batteries safely, recycle the whole electrical at your nearest electrical recycling point.

How exactly do these fires start?

1️⃣If binned, the battery or electrical is emptied into the bin lorry with your
household rubbish or recycling

2️⃣The lorry’s powerful ‘compacting blade’ compresses the rubbish together in the
back of the vehicle so that it can fit more in

3️⃣If the battery gets crushed or damaged in this process, air and water can react
together with the chemicals and batteries begin to spark which can start a fire!

Battery fires are particularly dangerous as the lithium in them releases its own oxygen. This intensifies the fire and makes it more difficult to extinguish.
So remember, never bin batteries or electricals. Always recycle batteries separately from your household waste and recycling.

You can find out more about the impact of battery fires, and how to prevent them at  

"Never bin them, recycle your batteries". Image depicts "hypno cat" (a pink and purple cat with hypnotic eyes) perched upon a bin, with various types of batteries floating in the background.