Join the fight against 'zombie batteries' to prevent fires
We support the national Take Charge campaign, which aims to tackle the growing number of fires caused by carelessly discarded dead batteries, also known as 'zombie batteries'.
The campaign urges the public to recycle dead batteries using specialist battery recycling services, and to never throw batteries away alongside general rubbish or other recycling.
What can happen if batteries aren't disposed of properly
Zombie batteries are dead batteries. When thrown away with other waste and recycling, they are likely to be crushed or punctured during waste collection and processing.
Some battery types, particularly rechargeable, can ignite or even explode when they are damaged. Once this happens, the batteries can quickly set fire to other materials present in the waste, such as paper, leading to serious incidents that put lives at risk.
In just one year, between April 2019 and March 2020, nearly 260 fires were started by zombie batteries in recycling or waste management facilities in the UK.
Every year, people across the UK throw away the equivalent of 22,000 tonnes of batteries. Only a third of these are recycled properly. The rest end up in the rubbish bin or mixed with other recycling.
These batteries are often found in products such as:
- Mobile phones
- Radio-controlled toys
- Bluetooth devices
- Electric toothbrushes
- Power tools
Watch the Take Charge campaign video on YouTube to see what can happen to zombie batteries if disposed of with regular household waste.
How you can recycle dead batteries responsibly
You should always recycle dead batteries separately from other waste material.
Batteries come in many different forms, but you can recycle all battery types for free at convenient locations across Cambridgeshire:
- Household Recycling Centres
- Supermarkets and DIY stores (shops that sell batteries should also accept old batteries)
- Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council accept batteries if put in clear plastic bags left on top of the wheelie bin lids - please visit the Cambridge City Council website or the South Cambridgeshire District Council website for further details.
View further information on options for recycling batteries on the Take Charge website.
Use the postcode finder to find battery recycling points near you
You can find out more about the dangers of not disposing batteries safely by visiting the Take Charge campaign website.
You can also use their postcode finder to find convenient battery recycling points near where you live.