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The Danger of Batteries in Skips

Why can’t you dispose of your batteries in skips?

Need to recycle some batteries? It is extremely important to know what you can and can’t put in a skip – particularly if its disposal can potentially be dangerous or hazardous. This is relevant to the disposal of batteries, as they have been known to cause fires and explosions at various sites across the country. Many of these incidents have been caused by the disposal of car batteries. With there being so many cars on the road in the UK, there has also been an influx of old, used batteries in need of disposal and recycling. It is also important to note that batteries of all types (small or large), and phone batteries, can be just as dangerous.

You can find out about the items we recycle here.

Why are batteries themselves so dangerous?

They contain various metals and chemicals that can be hazardous to both humans and the environment. To avoid problems, they need to be treated separately. Metals such as lead, cadmium and chromium are all present within car batteries. These metals can be highly toxic to human health, causing damage to your internal organs such as your kidneys and brain, as well as increasing the risk of cancer. When they are tipped in yards for recycling/disposal, the metal blades on the machinery cause a thermal overload. This is the main cause for fires and explosions.

Are batteries safe to dispose of if they are put in bags?

Unfortunately, batteries pose the same risks even when put in recycling sacks or black/bin bags. It is important that if you have a battery to get rid of, you don’t just bag it up and chuck it in your bin or skip. You can keep yourself, others and the environment safe by making sure they are recycled correctly. You’d be surprised how easy it is!

How can you keep yourself safe?

If you need to replace your car battery, you need to ensure the old one is removed safely. It is worth keeping in mind the following, to keep yourself and others safe:

  • keep batteries away from children and animals
  • wear protective clothing including eye protection
  • making sure it is taken to a recycling centre, so it can be disposed of safely
  • ensure the area you are using is well ventilated

Where can you dispose of batteries?

Now you know that putting your batteries in a skip isn’t an option, you may be thinking about where you can dispose of them correctly. Any retailer who can sell them should be able to take used ones back for recycling – so it is as simple as taking it on your next shopping trip! As well as this local recycling centres and recycling points may also be able to take them.

To find your nearest donation or recycling point, you can use this postcode checker.