Seven bin lorry fires caused by discarded batteries

Bin lorry fire in Cambridgeshire
Seven bin lorry fires have been started by batteries so far this year [Greater Cambridge Shared Waste]

People are being urged to dispose of batteries carefully after seven bin lorry fires were caused by them being thrown away with everyday household waste.

When batteries are put into wheelie bins they can get crushed or damaged when emptied into a lorry, leading to explosions and fires, the Greater Cambridge Shared Waste partnership (GCSW) said.

Lithium-ion batteries in mobile phones, vapes and power packs for electric bikes or scooters had caused fires in seven lorries since January.

Small household batteries can be put in a plastic bag, tied shut and left on top of any wheelie bin, GCSW said, while vapes and larger batteries should be taken to a household recycling centre.

Residents living in flats with communal bins should take batteries to a recycling centre or local collection point.

Recent lorry fires have broken out in Great Shelford, the centre of Cambridge and on the edge of Orchard Park.

Head of GCSW, Bode Esan, said: "We're seeing an increasing number of fires in the back of our trucks, and most are caused by batteries being put into wheelie bins.

"Our crews are put in danger as they must rapidly find a safe place to unload the recycling or waste, to stop the fire engulfing the lorry.

"We're hugely grateful to Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue for their prompt assistance on many recent occasions, but we should all do our bit to prevent them being needed."

Bin contents on fire
This fire happened in a bin lorry in the north of Cambridge [Greater Cambridge Shared Waste]

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