Fires in recycling trucks were caused by sparks from household batteries

  • Video report by ITV Meridian's Cary Johnston

People living in Buckinghamshire are being asked to dispose of their electrical equipment and batteries more carefully after a spate of fires in waste recycling trucks, during lockdown.

The fires have taken hold inside the backs of the trucks, after being caused by sparks from batteries and electrical equipment which have been wrongly mixed in with normal recycling. There have already been eight such fires in the past year.

The local council and the fire service are working to educate the public about the potential dangers posed if items are not disposed of / recycled correctly.

The issue has become so common that it has become a significant drain on fire service resources.

Councillor Chapple, the Cabinet Member for the Environment and Climate Change at Buckinghamshire Council had this advice for anyone disposing of used batteries in Buckinghamshire:

Used lightbulb and batteries placed in a separate bag on top a recycling bin

'Recycle Now' is the national recycling campaign for England. The organisation provides an online tool to find out about recycling in various postcode areas. Recycle Now has found that more than six out of ten people now describe themselves as committed recyclers, compared to fewer than half of the population when the campaign started in 2004.

The organisation says that while some councils collect batteries as part of their household collection service, in most areas people need to take their batteries to a recycling centre or a collection point in a supermarket, a DIY centre or a local shop.