Safe Battery Recycling Advice as Fire Risks Surge in Waste Recovery

In concerning events recently seen across the media, Greenzone are highlighting the rising threat of fires in waste services due to improperly discarded batteries.

As the demand for portable electronic devices continues to soar, the disposal of batteries has become a critical issue, with potentially disastrous consequences for public safety, the waste carriers and the environment.

It has been suggested that the emergency services attend in excess of 250 waste-related fires in the UK each year with a substantial amount caused by batteries. Recently a serious incident occurred due to the unsafe disposal of a battery, causing a fire at a recycling centre. It is suspected that a damaged battery which was likely to have been crushed in a recycling vehicle was transported to the Witney depot in Oxfordshire. 

Incidents like this highlight the urgent need for improved battery recycling initiatives. Lithium-ion batteries, commonly found in smartphones, laptops, and electric vehicles, pose a significant risk when not handled correctly. When disposed of in General waste streams, these batteries can short-circuit, leading to overheating and, in some cases, spontaneous combustion.

Waste management facilities have reported an alarming increase in fires caused by discarded batteries. The volatile nature of lithium-ion batteries makes them prone to thermal runaway, a chain reaction that can result in intense fires that are difficult to control. Not only do these fires pose a direct threat to the people working in waste management and nearby communities, but they also release toxic substances into the air, soil, and water.

At Greenzone we are urging customers to recycle batteries through designated collections. We offer cost effective and compliant battery recycling, ensuring that these potentially hazardous materials are handled and disposed of safely. As we grapple with environmental challenges ahead of electronic waste, proper battery disposal emerges as a crucial aspect of waste management.

Get in touch with Greenzone today to discuss how our waste recovery services can benefit your site.

Together, we can build a more sustainable future. 

Safe Battery Recycling