Recycle your electricals

Recycle your electricals 

Unwanted electricals are the fastest growing waste stream in the world – and the UK.

Anything with a plug, battery or cable can be reused or recycled. Many of these electrical items contain hidden batteries which can cause fires if they incorrectly enter the waste stream.

NFCC has worked closely with Material Focus to support and help develop campaign work because many incorrectly disposed of electricals can easily cause fires when they enter the waste stream. This poses a risk to workers in waste and recycling centres and can lead to challenging incidents for fire and rescue services to deal with.

Find your nearest recycling point by using their Recycling Locator. 

Download their communications toolkits to help educate residents in your area on battery fire risks – available in English and Welsh.

Recycle your electricals is run by Material Focus, an independent not-for-profit organisation which aims to stop electricals being hoarded or thrown away, and ensure they are recycled instead.

Binned batteries cause fires 

Batteries hidden in electricals caused over 700 fires in 2022, when crushed in recycling centres, bins and recycling lorries.

In response to increased reports of fires caused by batteries and electricals containing batteries in the waste and recycling system, NFCC and Material Focus launched the “Stop Battery Fires Film” public safety film in July 2023 for fire and rescue services and local authorities to share and help people understand how to properly dispose of their batteries and electricals, with the aim to reduce these fires.

Mark Andrews, NFCC waste fires lead said: “Fire and rescue services see first hand the impact of fires caused by the incorrect disposal of batteries and electrical items. The ‘Stop Battery Fires’ campaign and film will help support local authorities in raising awareness of this issue.

“We need householders to play their part in reducing these fires which can have a devastating impact on local communities and their environment. They can pose a real risk to staff working in the waste and recycling centres.”

Download Material Focus’s battery fire communications toolkit which includes the film and social media assets to help educate residents in your area.

Further useful information