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Don't put batteries in the bin, says council

Bin lorry fire

Gateshead Council is renewing its calls for residents not to dispose of batteries through their household waste and recycling bins after a fire at a Hartlepool recycling plant. 

The fire at the plant's premises - which is used to process Sunderland Council's recycling waste - could have led to a serious incident causing significant damage had it not been quickly contained by the plant's workforce.  

An investigation later identified sparks from a mobile phone battery as the likely cause of the ignition.  

Gateshead Council had a similar experience in November 2018 when a waste collection crew on their rounds spotted smoke issuing from the back of their vehicle. The driver was forced to stop his vehicle and tip his load into the road to prevent the fire from destroying his vehicle (see photo). 

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service were quickly on the scene and extinguished the fire.  

Now, Gateshead Council is reminding residents not to dispose of batteries via their recycling bin or their household waste bin. Instead, they should be disposed of at their nearest Household Waste and Recycling Centre or taken to their nearest battery recycling point. 

Marc Morley, service director for Highways and Waste, says: "Experience from around the UK shows the dangers of disposing of lithium ion or similar batteries in your household bins. 

A - Z of Household Recycling"We know serious problems can and do occur when batteries like these come into contact with the metal body of the waste vehicle or with metals within the waste. This has been shown to produce sparks which can quickly cause a fire. 

"It is therefore extremely important that people don't put old batteries from laptops, mobile phones, power tools and radio-controlled toys, or indeed any battery, into either their household waste or their recycling bin. It is extremely dangerous." 

Batteries can be taken for recycling at Gateshead Council's two Household Waste and Recycling Centres, or they can be taken to any one of dozens of battery collection points around Gateshead, including supermarkets and High Street electrical stores. When open, libraries and other Council buildings also offer safe battery disposal points. 

Small electrical items may also contain batteries and should also never be disposed of in a household waste or recycling bin. Instead they should be taken to a Household Waste and Recycling Centre for safe disposal.

See also: Warning after bin lorry catches fire in Felling

Bin lorry fire
14 August 2020

Gateshead Council is renewing its calls for residents not to dispose of batteries through their household waste and recycling bins after a fire at a Hartlepool recycling plant. 

The fire at the plant's premises - which is used to process Sunderland Council's recycling waste - could have led to a serious incident causing significant damage had it not been quickly contained by the plant's workforce.  

An investigation later identified sparks from a mobile phone battery as the likely cause of the ignition.  

Gateshead Council had a similar experience in November 2018 when a waste collection crew on their rounds spotted smoke issuing from the back of their vehicle. The driver was forced to stop his vehicle and tip his load into the road to prevent the fire from destroying his vehicle (see photo). 

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service were quickly on the scene and extinguished the fire.  

Now, Gateshead Council is reminding residents not to dispose of batteries via their recycling bin or their household waste bin. Instead, they should be disposed of at their nearest Household Waste and Recycling Centre or taken to their nearest battery recycling point. 

Marc Morley, service director for Highways and Waste, says: "Experience from around the UK shows the dangers of disposing of lithium ion or similar batteries in your household bins. 

A - Z of Household Recycling"We know serious problems can and do occur when batteries like these come into contact with the metal body of the waste vehicle or with metals within the waste. This has been shown to produce sparks which can quickly cause a fire. 

"It is therefore extremely important that people don't put old batteries from laptops, mobile phones, power tools and radio-controlled toys, or indeed any battery, into either their household waste or their recycling bin. It is extremely dangerous." 

Batteries can be taken for recycling at Gateshead Council's two Household Waste and Recycling Centres, or they can be taken to any one of dozens of battery collection points around Gateshead, including supermarkets and High Street electrical stores. When open, libraries and other Council buildings also offer safe battery disposal points. 

Small electrical items may also contain batteries and should also never be disposed of in a household waste or recycling bin. Instead they should be taken to a Household Waste and Recycling Centre for safe disposal.

See also: Warning after bin lorry catches fire in Felling

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