Eastleigh Borough Council is supporting a county wide promotion to urge its residents to think about the disposal of unwanted electricals and spent batteries following an alarming increase in the number of fire incidents at waste facilities, caused by items being placed in the wrong bins.
Lithium-ion batteries (or Li-ion batteries) are commonly used in portable electronics and electric vehicles. However, when these items are placed in kerbside recycling or black bag collections, the risk of them being damaged and igniting a fire is increased.
There are a number of options for safely disposing of both electricals and batteries such as the network of Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) and takeback schemes with retailers.
In early June, a major fire started at the Portsmouth Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and it is not expected to be fully operational for several months. Recycling waste is being diverted, temporarily, to the Alton MRF and some third-party outlets outside of the county.
The resulting delays at transfer stations and disposal points mean that the kerbside refuse collections may be delayed. This is frustrating for residents and requires additional work for the collection teams, including catch-up collections at the weekend.
To help prevent these fires, residents in the borough are advised:
- All your household batteries should be placed in a clear bag (a clear sandwich bag is perfect) and left on top of your glass to be recycled. Please be careful to store your batteries safely in a cool, dry place.
- Batteries or electrical items that contain lithium-ion (or Li-ion) batteries should NEVER be placed in your kerbside wheeled bins. Battery take back is offered at most shops who sell batteries and electrical items, and they can also be taken to your local HWRC. A special service may be offered by your collection authority – please check your local council’s website for details;
- Disposable BBQs should not be placed in your kerbside bin for non-recyclable rubbish until they have been fully extinguished and are cold;