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Battery Disposal

Batteries can cause fires if you throw them in your normal recycling or general waste bin – so it’s really important to recycle them properly.

Research shows there’s been over 700 fires in recycling or waste lorries and recycling centres over the last year (2022/23), caused by binned batteries across the UK.*

These can be loose batteries or ones hidden in electricals.

Simple steps to take

Make sure your dead batteries don’t become dangerous:

  • Don’t put in your normal recycling
  • Don’t put in your general waste bin
  • Bag them up and check with your local authority for battery recycling options.

By taking simple steps you can make sure all these types of batteries end up in safe, specialist, battery recycling facilities and prevent these fires from happening.

Small, loose batteries

If you put batteries in your general rubbish, they are likely to be crushed, punctured, shredded, tumbled and exposed to liquids. Not only can their hazardous contents leak out and cause environmental harm, but when the chemicals come into contact with the air, they can get hot and ignite. Surrounded by flammable materials, like paper and card, this would then lead to a serious fire.

Also keep away from children as these can be dangerous choking hazards and cause serious harm.

Hidden batteries in electricals

When certain rechargeable batteries, most often found in portable electronic devices like laptops, tablets, mobile phones, cameras, power-tools, remote-controlled toys and even e-cigarettes, are damaged or exposed to liquids they can release lots of energy quickly, and in an uncontrolled way, causing dangerous fires.

E-bikes and E-Scooters

The use of Lithium-Ion batteries is rapidly increasing with E-Bikes and E-Scooters becoming popular. If damaged, these batteries can be particularly dangerous, so please use and recycle them responsibly. You can find out more about E-Bike and E-Scooter safety here: Guide to Fire Safety for E-bikes and E-scooters


The impact can be devastating including causing millions of pounds of damage, disrupting waste services and, most critically, putting lives at risk either at home or to staff working in waste and recycling centres.

*Figures obtained from Material Focus (