Repic warns public against discarding batteries in waste streams

In a bid to reduce fires at recycling centres, consumers are being urged to remove batteries from electrical items before depositing.

Waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE) compliance scheme Repic is running the initiative that started rolling out in June in collaboration with its partners and WEEE campaigners Material Focus.

The scheme will see new battery collection drums and safety message posters being placed next to small WEEE containers across the almost 400 household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) working with with Repic.

There have been an increasing number of fires at UK waste and recycling plants over the past few years, estimated to currently stand at around 300 a year.

Repic strategic business development director Graeme Milne, said: “Encouraging the removal of batteries from unwanted and broken electrical appliances, ideally prior to them coming through the gates of the HWRC, or otherwise when the electrical appliances are discarded, could help mitigate any fire risk associated with discarded batteries.”

He added: “A fire risk can occur if discarded batteries in mixed waste are damaged during transport or processing.

“This risk is significantly reduced when discarded batteries are collected and processed separately.

“With new clear signage at the point of disposal, and a collaborative approach with our key partners, Repic hopes the public will support the campaign and recycle their batteries separately.”

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