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Fourth battery fire in four months raises further concerns

4th Battery fire

Serious concerns have once again been raised about the disposal of batteries and small electrical/battery operated appliances following another fire in a Gateshead refuse collection vehicle.

The fire started while the crew were working in Felling and the load had to be tipped onto the road and emergency services called. The cause of the fire has been identified as a battery which exploded.

Find out where to recycle batteries

This is the third fire in a Gateshead refuse collection vehicle in 3 months and in March the household waste and recycling centre at Wrekenton had to close for two days due to a fire. There are strong suspicions that the fire had been caused by batteries or a battery-powered device creating sparks which ignited other material.

Marc Morley, Gateshead Council's service director for Highways and Waste, said "We were very fortunate that on this occasion our crew were unhurt and the vehicle was not damaged however these situations can be much more serious. This is the third time in as many months that one of our vehicles has been on fire which shows the dangers of throwing old batteries or battery-operated devices into normal waste or recycling. Batteries and small electrical/battery operated appliances must not be put into any of the household wheelie bins.

It's vital that people dispose of batteries responsibly at battery recycling points in local shops, supermarkets and dozens of public buildings, at electrical retailers and other High Street stores. Batteries and battery-powered devices can also be recycled at our Household Waste and Recycling Centres."

Last August a fire at a Hartlepool recycling plant thought to have been caused by a battery led to Gateshead Council issuing a renewed warning to residents not to put batteries in any bin.   

4th Battery fire
23 June 2021

Serious concerns have once again been raised about the disposal of batteries and small electrical/battery operated appliances following another fire in a Gateshead refuse collection vehicle.

The fire started while the crew were working in Felling and the load had to be tipped onto the road and emergency services called. The cause of the fire has been identified as a battery which exploded.

Find out where to recycle batteries

This is the third fire in a Gateshead refuse collection vehicle in 3 months and in March the household waste and recycling centre at Wrekenton had to close for two days due to a fire. There are strong suspicions that the fire had been caused by batteries or a battery-powered device creating sparks which ignited other material.

Marc Morley, Gateshead Council's service director for Highways and Waste, said "We were very fortunate that on this occasion our crew were unhurt and the vehicle was not damaged however these situations can be much more serious. This is the third time in as many months that one of our vehicles has been on fire which shows the dangers of throwing old batteries or battery-operated devices into normal waste or recycling. Batteries and small electrical/battery operated appliances must not be put into any of the household wheelie bins.

It's vital that people dispose of batteries responsibly at battery recycling points in local shops, supermarkets and dozens of public buildings, at electrical retailers and other High Street stores. Batteries and battery-powered devices can also be recycled at our Household Waste and Recycling Centres."

Last August a fire at a Hartlepool recycling plant thought to have been caused by a battery led to Gateshead Council issuing a renewed warning to residents not to put batteries in any bin.   

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