Please don't place old batteries in your waste or recycling, urges council

We’re calling on residents and businesses to dispose of old, unwanted or dead batteries responsibly.  

Batteries that are thrown into ordinary bins, household waste or with other recycling are extremely dangerous as they can explode and cause fires.

Instead, old, unwanted and dead batteries should be taken to our Household Waste Recycling Sites  or dropped off at one of the many battery recycling points throughout the city, including many local supermarkets.

We don't collect batteries

The council doesn’t collect batteries, so you can find your nearest recycling location at by entering your postcode, town or city.

Councillor Amy Heley, chair of the council’s environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “Old, unwanted or dead batteries thrown away in general waste, or mixed with other recyclable materials can be very dangerous.

“They can easily get squashed, compacted, punctured, shredded or soaked in liquids. When this happens, they can ignite, resulting in fires that endanger lives, cause expensive damage and disrupt waste services.

“Damaged batteries are also dangerous as they contain chemicals and materials that can harm the environment if they aren’t recycled responsibly.”

One in four throw batteries in the bin

A survey carried out last year by environmental charity WRAP found nearly a quarter of UK households admitted to throwing used batteries in the rubbish bin instead of recycling them correctly.
Figures by the Environmental Services Association, which launched a campaign on batteries in October this year called Take Charge, show that in just one year, between April 2019 and March 2020, almost 260 fires were started by batteries in recycling or waste management facilities in the UK after people didn’t recycle properly.

Batteries that can be recycled are:

  • All household batteries including 'button' batteries from watches
  • Battery packs from laptops, mobile phones, power tools and remote-control units
  • Car batteries should be recycled at our Household Waste Recycling Sites.

You can also help by:

  • Using rechargeable batteries where possible
  • Selling or donating working, but unwanted, battery-powered electronic items instead of throwing them away
  • Removing a battery from a product and recycling it separately and responsibly.

If a battery cannot be removed from a product, the whole item should be recycled at our Household Waste Recycling Sitesour small electricals recycling points or the new reuse and recycle service called RevaluElectricals by Tech-Takeback.

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