Bristol residents urged to recycle batteries safely

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Residents in Bristol are being urged to recycle batteries and gas cannisters safely after a number of fires at recycling centres.

Bristol Waste said seven blazes were caused by flammable items being put in the wrong box or in general waste.

It is asking people to take care when recycling items with ‘hidden’ batteries like e-cigarettes.

“It could be really dangerous both for our crews or for people on the street,” said Emma Russell from Bristol Waste.

She asked people to put batteries in the right place, “the right place being in the clear bag untied in your black recycling box if you’re a Bristol resident”.

The company warned people to look for batteries inside small electrical items such as disposable e-cigarettes, toothbrushes, shavers, chargers and toys.

‘Highly explosive’

Residents need to either remove the batteries, or if not possible, place the items in a separate, clear, untied bag and place with the black recycling box for collection as a small electrical item (sometimes referred to as WEEE; waste electrical and electronic equipment).

Ms Russell said the small batteries “can act like tiny little bombs and that means that they’re highly explosive”.

“On the plus side they’re also filled with incredible precious materials that can be recycled and go on to have another life,” she added.

She said sorting them before collection will mean they are recycled and “everything will be extracted”.

“But if you put it in the wrong recycling box or you put it in your black general waste bin, it could be really dangerous both for our crews or for someone in the street if it happened when they were collecting.”

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