Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is working with Recycle for Greater Manchester (R4GM) to raise awareness about the fire risks associated with disposing of batteries in household bins.
Battery-related fires are on the rise in Greater Manchester, in part, due to the increased popularity of disposal vapes and e-cigarettes. From April 1 to June 30 2023, GMCA’s waste management contractor SUEZ reported 37 fire-related incidents due to lithium batteries alone.
Firefighters have been called to 20 incidents relating to disposed batteries over the past two years with 14 of those occurring at waste disposal sites. Each incident at a waste disposal site affects the operation of disposal services and the safety of on-site staff.
The ‘Be Battery Aware’ campaign aims to educate residents across Greater Manchester on how to dispose of batteries, and items containing batteries such as electric toothbrushes, shavers, games consoles and vapes, properly and safely.
Batteries can cause fires when crushed during the bin collection or waste sorting process. For this reason, batteries need to be disposed of at household waste recycling centres or recycling points found at supermarkets, shops, or workplaces.
There are some simple steps you can take to ensure that you dispose of batteries, and items containing batteries, safely:
- Dispose of batteries and items containing batteries at household waste recycling centres or recycling points
- Do not put old batteries or electrical items in any of your household bins, including recycling bins
- Find out if your local supermarkets, electrical retailers, shops, or workplace have a recycling point at https://www.recycleyourelectricals.org.uk/
- Check items for hidden batteries before recycling
- Return vapes to where you bought them as retailers are obligated to provide a take-back scheme
Visit Recycle for Greater Manchester for more information on how to recycle your batteries safely.