South Tyneside Residents have the Power to do More
South Tyneside residents are helping to change lives with new recycling campaign.
Under a new initiative, which launched across the Borough earlier this month, householders are supporting vulnerable people through recycling.
South Tyneside Council is supporting Valpak's #PowerToDoMore campaign, which donates money to the Changing Lives charity every time someone recycles a small electrical item or a battery at the Recycling Village in South Shields.
People visiting site can scan a unique QR code to record the waste electrical items they're recycling, with Valpak donating £1 for every item recorded.
Changing Lives works with people in crisis or those needing support to overcome serious challenges that can limit their opportunities. It helps people to develop the skills and self-belief to achieve a better future.
Councillor Ernest Gibson, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety at South Tyneside Council, said: "It's important that any unwanted batteries and old, small electrical items that contain batteries, are disposed of safely and responsibly. Batteries in particular should never be put in either the grey household or blue recycling bins as they pose a serious fire risk.
"It's great for residents to know that by taking both their old batteries and small electricals to South Tyneside's Recycling Village they are not only doing their bit for the environment but supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our communities."
Nigel Tomlinson, Commercial Manager at environmental specialist Valpak, said: "The new scheme is set to donate £5,000 to Changing Lives. In the current circumstances, more people than ever are facing challenges in life, so it's important to help where we can. This initiative has the added advantage that it also makes a huge difference to the environment by raising awareness about the recycling of batteries and small electrical items."
The aim of the scheme is to encourage more people to dispose of small electrical items and waste batteries correctly. Many small WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment) items and batteries are thrown into general waste and recycling bins, which causes a high risk of waste fires.
Of the 200 fires experienced by UK waste facilities every year, 48% are caused by batteries. Like the rest of the UK, the North East has suffered from battery-related fires, with five fires recorded over a three-week period in April this year.
Battery fires are typically caused by lithium-ion batteries which can self-ignite if damaged or crushed. As the number of cordless products found in households grows, so does the number of used batteries finding their way into waste and recycling bins.
To take part in #PowerToDoMore, householders can scan QR codes at the Recycling Village, Middlefields Industrial Estate, in South Shields.
The #PowerToDoMore campaign has already raised more than £5,000. Earlier this year, Valpak donated £5 to Mind for every free-of-charge battery recycling box ordered by businesses.