Recycling batteries

Never bin batteries. Always recycle them separately from your household rubbish and recycling to help prevent fires.

batteries in a special bin at a recycling centre batteries in a special bin at a recycling centre

Why recycle batteries?

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

photo of electrical fire

Hundreds of fires caused by binned batteries

Our research shows an increasing number of fires caused by binned batteries across the UK. Local authorities say it’s a growing problem.

photo of fireman putting out electrical fire

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.

two photo of hands holding batteries

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.

photo of the recycling symbol and some batteries

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

ASK

Are there batteries hidden in your electrical product? Remove them if you can and recycle them separately. If you can’t remove them, recycle the whole item with your other small electricals.

BAG IT

Set aside one bag for batteries and one for small electricals. Put batteries from your gadgets in their own bag and electricals in theirs, ready for recycling.

CHECK

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.

What to do with old batteries

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

icons of different types of batteries

Recycling loose 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.

illustration of electric toothbrush, robot and smart phone

Recycling hidden batteries

Many rechargeable electrical items will have batteries hidden in them that can’t be removed (things like electric toothbrushes, laptops, smart watches). In this case, recycle the whole product with other electrical items.

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 battery bins in a recycling centre

Did you know?

Find your nearest battery recycling point

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