Recycling batteries

Batteries can cause fires if you throw them in your normal recycling or waste bin – so it’s really important to recycle them properly. Follow our guide to battery recycling.

Why recycle batteries?

Why it’s important to take charge of recycling your batteries

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Over 700 fires caused by binned batteries

Our research shows there’s been over 700 fires over the last year caused by binned batteries across the UK. Local authorities say it’s a growing problem. 

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Battery fires can endanger lives

These fires are challenging for fire services to deal with, have a significant impact on local communities and present a real risk to staff working on lorries and waste plants. 

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Batteries contain hidden treasures

There are many valuable materials inside batteries that can be reused if recycled properly, like nickel, zinc, cadmium and lithium. See our FAQs to find out how these materials are recovered. 

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Give recycled batteries a new lease of life

When the raw materials of batteries are recovered, they can be reused for other purposes or to make new things. For example, the lithium in some 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 remove the batteries to recycle them separately. And do not put them in the general rubbish bin.

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Set aside a bag 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 – often found in supermarkets and shops. Or check with your council website to see if they collect batteries for recycling.

Recycling locator

What to do with old batteries

Reduce fire risk and save precious resources by recycling your 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). These household batteries must be recycled at specific battery collection points.

Recycling battery packs

Battery packs from laptops, mobile phones, power tools and remote control units can be recycled at specific 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.

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.

fire fighting at waste site HypnoCat saying 'Human: Bag up your old electricals for recycling'

Did you know?

Find your nearest battery recycling point

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