DURING the festive season the council is urging people to ensure they recycle dead batteries responsibly, or switch to rechargeable batteries as a more environmentally friendly alternative.
Over 189 million batteries are used over the Christmas period and the council is reminding people that dead batteries should never be disposed of in waste or recycling bins.
Batteries that are incorrectly disposed of can explode or ignite after being squashed, compacted, punctured, soaked in liquid or exposed to heat at waste sites or on collection vehicles.
Lithium-ion batteries in particular, which are found in many gadgets, toys and appliances around the home including mobile phones and electric toothbrushes, can be extremely volatile if damaged.
Dead batteries should be recycled at household waste and recycling sites or at larger shops and supermarkets.
In East Sussex, households in Rother, Wealden and Hastings can also dispose of their batteries and other small electrical items at the kerbside. Electrical items should be put in a carrier bag, with the bag placed on top of the recycling or rubbish bin on the usual collection day; batteries should be put in a separate bag, also placed on top of the bin.
Cllr Claire Dowling, lead member for transport and environment, said: “It is very important that dead batteries are disposed of correctly, especially at this time of year when more batteries are in circulation.
“Disposing of batteries with general waste and recycling can have extremely serious consequences, potentially disrupting waste services and endangering lives.
“Please remember – never bin batteries.”
As an alternative to single use batteries, people are also being asked to consider switching to rechargeable batteries as a greener option.
Rechargeable batteries will last for approximately 700 charges, saving money in the long term and can still be recycled once they are finished with.
Cllr Dowling added: “This Christmas, why not consider switching to rechargeable batteries? They are better for the environment and batteries and a battery charger could be the ideal gift!”
More information about where batteries can be safely disposed of in East Sussex can be found at www.takecharge.org.uk.
Residents in Rother, Wealden and Hastings can find out more about disposing of batteries and other electrical items at the kerbside by visiting https://your.eastsussex.gov.uk/2020/11/27/recycle-your-old-electricals-from-home/.