Batteries in recycling bins cause fire to breakout in Bristol waste centre

It happened when the batteries were crushed in the waste and recycling process Credit: Bristol Waste

A video showing the dangers of what can happen when batteries are put in the wrong bin has been released by Bristol Waste Company, after a fire broke out at the Albert Road depot.

It happened when batteries or electricals containing batteries that were not properly separated, were crushed in the waste and recycling process, sparking several small fires.

Craig Powell, Manager of Processing for Bristol Waste, who was onsite when the fire broke out said: "We heard the explosion, which is when you see the debris fly in the air, within seconds there were flames.

"We were lucky with this one; the fire systems we have in place ensured it was controlled before it became too big.

"However, these types of fires, if we were on a residential street, could cause untold damage."

Lithium-ion batteries are responsible for around 48% (over 200) of all waste fires occurring in the UK each year according to the Environmental Services Association.

These batteries can be found in many everyday household items, such as phones, laptops and even e-cigarettes.

Fires caused by batteries cost waste operators and fire services around £158 million annually.

"People think because they are empty or flat, canisters and batteries are safe, but they act like little bombs, which are surrounded by dry flammable recycling – it’s really dangerous," Craig added.

"But keeping us all safe is simple, just separate your batteries and places them in a clear, untied bag in your black recycling box, and take canisters to the recycling centre."