Urgent appeal after battery thought to be responsible for second fire at waste transfer station

The battery which may have started the latest fire at a Lincolnshire waste transfer station. EMN-180321-150310001
The battery which may have started the latest fire at a Lincolnshire waste transfer station. EMN-180321-150310001

Urgent appeal issued for batteries and electrical items not to be put into your black or grey bins after it was revealed that batteries in recycled waste were thought to be responsible for a second fire in recent weeks at a Lincolnshire waste transfer station.

Even dead batteries can carry enough of a charge to short and provide a source of ignition.

These can become buried in a pile of as much as 100 tonnes of combustible material at the transfer station, which is operated by Lincolnshire County Council which takes waste from Boston Borough and East Lindsey District.

After recent events at the Waste Transfer Station on Slippery Gowt Lane, Boston people are warned to be wary of their dispposed batteries.

The latest culprit is thought to have been a mobile phone battery found among the smouldering rubbish dragged from the pile.

Ian Taylor, Environmental Services Team Leader (Waste) for the county council, said: “The first fire caused some damage to the building and its fittings.

“The most recent fire was spotted quickly and the source removed and extinguished. Almost all the material in the recycling collection is combustible, so it’s not hard to imagine the consequences if there is an ignition source buried deep within it. So far we have been lucky, but luck can run out.”

Ian explained that batteries, or any electrical equipment which requires mains power or a battery to work, should not be included in waste collections because of the potential fire hazard they pose.

Sellers of batteries in sufficient quantities – and that’s most supermarkets - have to, by law, provide battery collection points for safe recycling.

Ian said: “Of course, we should recycle electrical items and batteries, but not in either the recycling or refuse bins.”

Batteries and electrical goods can be disposed of for free at any other household waste recycling centre.

Large items, such as televisions or desktop computers, can be collected under East Lindsey District Council’s bulky waste arrangements - www.e-lindsey.gov.uk/article/5540/Bulky-Waste-Electrical-items

• A common contaminant in recycled waste that East Lindsey District Council collects is food.

Any food waste that is incorrectly placed in the recycling waste can contaminate the items it touches, meaning they cannot be recycled.

If a recycling bin contains items not on the list of accepted items, the bin may rejected and not be emptied by the waste collection crews.

A guide to what items can be recycled can be found online at www.e-lindsey.gov.uk/article/5720/Refuse-and-Recycling-Service