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South Kesteven District Council issues warning about binning batteries following fires

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People are being urged to keep old batteries out of their bins following a spate of fires in the county.

Recent bin lorry fires in Lincolnshire have resulted in many thousands of pounds of damage as well as serious threats to safety.

To keep bin crews and centre workers safe, people are being urged to dispose of batteries in dedicated bins at retailers or tips. This also applies to household items containing batteries, or rechargeable items such as shavers.

Used alkaline batteries. Photo: istock/ Olga Akinina
Used alkaline batteries. Photo: istock/ Olga Akinina

Coun Mark Whittington, South Kesteven District Council's cabinet member for waste services, said: “Batteries and electrical items are a recognised fire hazard, something that is more of a risk when they are compacted in our freighters or damaged when people put them in the household waste.

"A single spark can easily ignite the lithium they contain, leading to a fire.

“Batteries, chargers, old mobile phones, vape pens and other small devices should not be placed in bins. They need to be disposed of separately because of this inherent risk.

“Recent refuse vehicle fires in Boston and Lincoln resulted in many thousands of pounds of damage, not to mention potential danger through the fire itself or explosions caused by damaged batteries.

“This results in delays to household waste collection, can put vehicles off the road and also takes up fire service resources that could be urgently needed elsewhere.

"There are also further delays at the transfer station as the remainder of an affected load has to be dealt with separately."

Even commonly used AA and AAA alkaline varieties can start fires so should not be put in a household waste bin.

Batteries and electrical items can be handed over at the county's tips or in dedicated battery bins in many retailers.

To find the nearest supermarket or hardware store disposal point, visit: https://bit.ly/batterySKDC

Have you got a story? Email smeditor@stamfordmercury.co.uk.

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