Joint bin hanger campaign launches to prevent battery waste fires

We've partnered with North Somerset Council on a campaign to help prevent fires caused by the incorrect disposal of batteries, after three fires broke out in North Somerset over the past year.

From 5 February, 102,000 properties across North Somerset will each receive a hanger for their black (general waste) bin, about how to dispose of batteries, vapes and gas canisters responsibly, as well as advice on how to keep their homes safe from fire.

Lithium-ion batteries are found in many of our everyday household items, such as phones, laptops and vapes. While these batteries are not dangerous when used properly, they can present a significant risk if they are not disposed of correctly.

If batteries are damaged or crushed, such as in the back of a bin lorry, they can explode and start fires. To help prevent fire starting, you should never put batteries, vapes or gas canisters in your black (general waste) bin. 

When disposing of electrical items in kerbside recycling boxes, remove batteries first and put them in a clear plastic bag on top of your recycling box.

Gas canisters and larger battery packs, such as those for cars and power tools, should be taken to your local recycling centre.

This is a nationwide issue, but it also directly affects North Somerset. In the past year, three fires have broken out locally - two in the back of waste collection vehicles and one at a recycling centre - which were all believed to have been caused by batteries that weren’t properly disposed of.

Councillor Annemieke Waite, executive member for climate, waste and sustainability, said: “This is a deeply important campaign that should help keep our waste collection crews and our residents safe.

“Especially with items like vapes continuing to be popular, it’s crucial that we dispose of batteries in a safe and proper way. Recycling these items helps us look after our community and secure a greener future for North Somerset.”

Group Manager Russ Mitchell said: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with North Somerset Council for this campaign, as waste fires caused by batteries have been a cause for concern across the area. Not only can these fires be particularly dangerous to victims and firefighters, but they also cause significant damage to properties.”

“Properly disposing of batteries is an important way that residents can help reduce the risk of fires starting. To find out other ways to help keep your home fire safe, use our Home Fire Safety Checker at: tinyurl.com/22a8zfxs.”

More information can be found on the council’s website at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/recycling

Follow North Somerset’s Recycling and Waste team on social media at Facebook (nsrecyclingandwaste) and X (ns_recycling). 

Follow us on social media at Facebook (AvonFireRescue) and X (AvonFireRescue).