New Campaign Aimed at Raising Awareness of the Danger of Battery Fires and Increasing Battery Recycling

Posted by: Press team on 15 December 2021 13:36

A new campaign is being launched by the South Tyne and Wear Waste Management Partnership, aimed at raising awareness of the danger of putting batteries and electrical items containing batteries in your household rubbish and general recycling bins, and instead is urging residents to recycle them at one of many locations across the region.

Ken Corbett, National Waste Fire Tactical Advisor and Head of Operations at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: "If you put batteries in your general rubbish or recycling, during processing they can be crushed, punctured or shredded. Damaged batteries can leak toxic materials and can become very hot and spark, setting fire to any combustible materials around them. This is particularly hazardous in waste facilities or in collection vehicles, where they can cause large fires and present a real danger to life."

"Fires that involve batteries can prove very challenging and difficult to extinguish, and have a detrimental effect on the environment. I would remind people to dispose of batteries responsibly, and not amongst your general household waste or recycling."

There have been over 300 incidents across the country in the last year where fires during waste processing are believed to have been caused by damaged batteries: 19 of them within the South Tyne and Wear area.

This includes a blaze at the Campground Waste and Recycling Centre in Wrekenton, where buildings were damaged, forcing it to close for several days; and a fire that ignited a council waste collection vehicle, forcing to dump its load on the A1, closing lanes for a long period of time.

Already underway, the campaign will involve the three councils who make up the partnership placing stickers on the bins of every household throughout Gateshead, Sunderland and South Tyneside, asking residents to never put batteries in their bins, and to dispose of them responsibly.

Councillor Linda Green, Chair of the Partnership, said: "Used batteries can be recycled in so many places these days. Most supermarkets, DIY shops or anywhere that sells batteries, as well and many public buildings have battery recycling points. Likewise, both batteries and electrical items containing batteries can be recycled at any Household Waste and Recycling Centre. This includes mobile phones, electric toothbrushes, power tools and electronic vaping devices. Larger retailers also have a duty to safely dispose of your old electrical items when you're buying a new one from them. There's really no excuse for throwing them in your bin at home."

Councillor Ernest Gibson, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety at South Tyneside Council added: "It's important that any unwanted batteries and old, small electrical items that contain batteries, are disposed of safely and responsibly. Batteries should never be put in either the grey household or blue recycling bins as they pose a serious fire risk.

"Initiatives like this help to highlight the dangers of not disposing of batteries properly, the damage they can cause and the risk it poses to the safety of waste officers.

"We would urge people to dispose of their batteries safely at the Recycling Village or take them to one of a number of battery recycling points across the Borough."

To find the battery recycling points in your area visit your local council website and search for 'Battery', or, and consider using rechargeable batteries to reduce future impact on the environment.


Last modified: 20 December 2021 13:36