Home Community and neighbourhoods Residents are urged to stop putting batteries in bins

Residents are urged to stop putting batteries in bins

by Cathy Sheel

Residents are being urged to stop putting batteries in their bins, as they can cause fires and pollute the environment.

Batteries can contain hazardous materials, such as mercury, lead and cadmium which, if they are not disposed of correctly, can cause fires in waste collection vehicles, household bins and at Recycling Centres.

Research by national charity Material Focus has identified that over 700 fires in waste trucks and sites are caused by batteries that haven’t been removed from electricals.

All batteries should be recycled separately, never thrown away. Where possible, batteries should be removed from electrical products before recycling. If unable to remove the battery, recycle it together with old electricals.

An advertising campaign to promote messages about safe battery disposal is currently being run by a partnership of Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority (MRWA), Veolia, the six local councils in Liverpool City Region, and Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MFRS).

Adverts are being aired on local radio, and messages promoted on digital and social media in collaboration with the Recycle Your Electricals campaign.

Lesley Worswick, Chief Executive of MRWA, said: Batteries are a hazard to our workers, our community and our environment. If batteries, or electricals containing batteries, end up inside bins or waste collection lorries with other materials then they are crushed in the waste and recycling process. This increases the chances that they could be punctured and self-combust, setting fire to dry and flammable waste and household recycling around them.

“We urge residents to please stop putting batteries in their waste and recycling bins, bags or boxes, and instead dispose of them safely. Remove batteries from electricals if you can and recycle the batteries and electricals separately. If you can’t remove the batteries then always recycle your electricals separately.”

There are two Household Waste Recycling Centres in Knowsley that accept batteries. They’re at Wilson Road, Huyton (L36 6AD) and Depot Road, Kirkby (L33 3AR). Residents can also find dedicated drop-off locations for battery disposal at many shops and supermarkets. To find your nearest recycling point residents can use the Recycle Your Electricals postcode locator.

According to research by Material Focus, at least 25% of the UK public admit to binning batteries and 45% of householders are unaware of the fire risk if they don’t safely dispose of batteries hidden inside electricals.

From 1st April 2023 until 30th September 2023 Merseyside and Halton’s Household Waste Recycling Centres will be open from 8.00am until 8.00pm.