Lancashire County Council is highlighting top tips for disposing of 'hidden batteries' after three fires blazed through its waste facilities in just two months.

Batteries are everywhere in our homes, from toys, toothbrushes, remote controls, mobile phones, and e-cigarettes, known as vapes, to doorbells.  Around 40,000 tonnes of batteries were sold in the UK in 2020, but less than half of them were properly recycled.

Now the county council has launched a new campaign to warn of the dangers of incorrect battery disposal, and encourage people to safely recycle them.

Batteries need to be disposed of in the right way because they contain chemicals that are hazardous to the environment. If they are put into household bins, they can cause fires at homes, in waste collection vehicles or at our waste processing facilities, putting people at risk, and disrupting services.

If they are not disposed of properly, they can leak chemicals, such as lead, nickel, cadmium, zinc and even mercury. Safe disposal allows these non-renewable resources to be safely extracted and reused.

The top tips are:

  • Never put batteries in normal rubbish or recycling bins

  • Use rechargeable batteries where you can

  • You can recycle batteries at any of our recycling centres. They can also be recycled at some supermarkets and smaller shops that sell batteries – see Recycle Now

  • Remove batteries from broken devices (if safe to do so) and recycle the device and battery separately

  • If you can’t safely remove the battery for example in an e-cigarette or electric toothbrush, recycle the device with the battery inside using the small electricals container at household waste recycling centres.

County Councillor Shaun Turner, cabinet member for environment and climate change, said: "After three significant fires in just two months at our waste facilities, which were caused by potentially deadly hidden batteries which had been disposed of incorrectly, we are keen to signpost people to the right place.

"We know that many of our residents are very careful about recycling and are passionate about the environment and recycling. It's very important to us here at the council and we would like to highlight the many ways that you can dispose of these items safely.

"It's clear that the 'hidden' nature of the batteries inside vapes, electric toothbrushes and children's toys makes them a risk as people simply aren't aware that they cannot go in the rubbish bin or recycling bin. We want our residents to know that there are lots of ways to recycle these batteries – in ways that cause no risk to themselves, our staff or emergency services personnel."

Our website has a range of information and advice about recycling and disposing of household waste. For more information, go to

Copy provided by Lancashire County Council.

Sign up for alerts

To receive news and information about risks in your area, how to prepare and how to respond.

Once you have submitted your details below you will be taken through to Neighbourhood Alert to complete your registration for Stay In The Know

Latest news

About Us 2021 05 Jesip Multi Agency 004

No Moor Fires - Public Spaces Protection Order introduced in Lancashire

Chorley, Blackburn with Darwen and Greater Manchester join together to protect moorland from fires.

Read more

Job alert: Senior Emergency Planning Advisor at United Utilities

A vacancy for a Senior Emergency Planning Officer has opened at UU.

Read more
Acc Peter Lawson White Shirt Pp

Death of ACC, and Executive Chair of the LRF, Pete Lawson

Read more

Get in touch

If you have any comments, questions or are experiencing any issues with the website, please get in touch by completing the form.

The mailbox isn't monitored 24/7, so please do not use this for emergencies.

For information on how this website handles your personal information please read our Privacy Policy.