Recycling batteries

Hidden and loose batteries can cause fires if you throw them in your normal recycling or waste bin – so it’s really important to recycle them properly. Read on for how and where to recycle batteries and electricals near you.

drawer of old batteries, old green vape, white phone battery pack with grey cable wrapped around, blue torch and white air pod headphones

Battery & electricals recycling near me

Why recycle batteries?

Why it’s important to take charge of recycling your loose batteries or electricals with hidden batteries

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Over 1,200 fires from binned batteries

Binned batteries and electricals containing batteries caused more than 1,200 fires over the last year, our research shows. And local authorities say the problem is getting worse.

a camera a vape and a tooth brush on fire

Battery fires impact communities

These fires are having a significant impact on local communities, including spikes in air pollution. They are also challenging for fire services to deal with and are endangering lives of staff working on lorries and at waste plants. 

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Batteries contain hidden treasures

1.6 billion batteries were thrown away last year. This means vast amounts of valuable materials such as nickel, zinc, cadmium and lithium are lost forever. See the FAQs below to learn how these materials are recovered.

two hands holding a pile of household batteries

Give recycled batteries a new lease of life

Recovering raw materials from batteries makes them available to reuse or to turn into new products. For example, the lithium in batteries could power thousands of electric cars!

How to recycle batteries

It’s as easy as ABC

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Does your electrical item contain batteries? If so, they may cause a fire if not recycled properly – so don’t bin them. If possible, remove the batteries from your electricals and recycle them separately. If you can’t remove them, recycle the whole item at your local electrical recycling point.

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Set aside a bag or a box just for batteries. Then each time you remove a battery from a gadget, put it in the bag ready to take to a recycling point, or to be collected if your local council provides this service.

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Use our recycling locator to find your nearest electrical recycling point – they’re often in supermarkets and shops. Or check with your council website to see if they collect batteries for recycling.

Recycling locator
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Battery fires cause air pollution

“My daughter suffered from breathing issues and a cough from the smoke caused by the fire. It got so bad we visited a walk-in centre and eventually A&E.”

— Bethan, describing a battery fire in her local area

What to do with old batteries

Reduce fire risk and save precious resources by recycling your batteries.

two hands holding a pile of household batteries

Recycling common batteries

Common household batteries include lithium-ion button batteries from watches, hearing aids, etc, as well as standard barrel-type batteries (AAs, AAAs and so on). You must recycle these household batteries at dedicated battery collection points.

Use our locator
a close up of a lithium ion battery pack for a power tool

Recycling battery packs

You can recycle battery packs from laptops, mobile phones, power tools and remote control units at dedicated battery collection points. If you can’t remove the power pack put the whole product in with your electrical recycling – but never in the general waste bin.

two gloved hands lifting a car battery out of a black box

Recycling car batteries

By law you mustn’t dispose of car batteries in a rubbish bin. In the UK you can recycle car batteries at designated collection points. These includes many household waste recycling centres, garages and scrap yards. Or, if a specialist is replacing your car battery, they might be able to dispose of the old one safely for you.

Find your nearest battery recycling point