How to safely dispose of batteries

Batteries can cause fires at CRCs

As things heat up this summer with record breaking temperatures hitting the country, it's become more important than ever that we do all we can to reduce the risk of fire. At our Community Recycling Centres (CRCs) the most common cause of fire comes from a surprising source…misplaced batteries.

While usually safe in the home, batteries do need to be treated with a certain amount of care to keep them happy and healthy. For any batteries mixed in with other waste such as the mixed recycling or non-recyclables, a potentially explosive future awaits.

Earlier this year Guildford CRC faced exactly this issue when a battery made its way into another refuse pile. Buried under dry recycling the damaged battery began to rapidly heat.

Infrared cameras installed at the site raised the alarm and the Fire and Rescue Service were quickly on hand to put out the blaze. Thanks to their quick action and that of the staff on site, no lasting damage was done but the danger such incidents pose to staff members and residents on site, cannot be overstated.

To keep everyone safe it's important we dispose of batteries and small electronic devices carefully.

How to dispose of batteries safely

Batteries and electronics cannot be mixed with any other kind of rubbish. All our CRCs have a dedicated place to dispose of unwanted batteries and many shops selling batteries have drop off points as well. Once you're done with a battery you can set them aside in a cool dry place out of direct sunlight and then take them with you to one of the drop off points.

You can find details of your local CRCs on the Surrey County Council Community Recycling Centre web page. To find your closest battery recycling point, check using your post code on the Take Charge Web page.

Aside from disposing of your batteries safely, you can also spread the word by sharing the message with others. Listen to Watch Commander, Paul Risbridger, as he highlight's the dangers of disposing of batteries incorrectly and what you can do to reduce the risk in the video below.

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