Hounslow Council has launched a campaign to discourage residents from throwing away their batteries, as part of a wider national campaign aiming to prevent waste fires. The initiative follows research from Material Focus’ Stop Battery Fires Campaign, which found that 90 per cent of councils across the country saw battery fires as a growing problem. Identifying over 600 fires in bin lorries and waste disposal sites, the body also highlighted how 45 per cent of households are unaware of the fire risk batteries pose, with a quarter of households unsafely throwing them away. Based on these findings, the Material Focus urges residents to never dispose of batteries in their residual waste or recycling bins. Rather, they should recycle electricals separately, taking batteries out of them where possible.
Council will use the campaign to spread awareness of their weekly kerbside collection service of small electrical items, such as toothbrushes, shavers, chargers, and toys. Hounslow Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Climate, Environment and Transport Strategy, Councillor Katherine Dunne said: “Fires involving batteries can be very damaging and difficult to put out. As we heard, they pose a potential risk to our workers and are bad for the environment. “Please dispose of your batteries responsibly and don’t just throw them in with your household waste and recycling. Most supermarkets, DIY shops or anywhere that sells batteries have battery recycling points. You can also recycle them at our Space Waye Recycling Centre in Feltham. “There really is no excuse for binning your batteries or electricals. Let’s keep them out of the general waste and recycle for Hounslow.”
Executive Director of Material Focus, Scott Butler, said: “Having listened to the numerous stories of flames engulfing waste and recycling trucks as they drive down residential streets, it’s important that we all take action now to keep our streets, householders, waste and local authority staff, and firefighters safe. “People can find their nearest recycling point for batteries and electricals by visiting our recycle your electricals website.”
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