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Recycling Roundup 15th May

Recycling Roundup 15th May

Recycling Roundup 15th May

The Health and Safety Executive have urged people to dispose of batteries correctly at designated recycling points.

The plea comes after fires have broken out in waste collection vehicles. They have highlighted how dangerous batteries can be when they are mixed with other items of domestic waste.

There have been 2 recent cases where a fire has broken out in vehicles due to batteries being disposed of with ordinary waste. In March, a fire broke out in a refuse collection vehicle in East Northamptonshire due to a nickel–cadmium battery. The council then urged residents to use proper disposal points and recycling centres which are equipped to dispose of them correctly.

Last month, a vehicle collecting recycling waste was damaged by fire in Warrington. The council said the fire started due to sparks occurring when the battery came into contact with the vehicle’s metal floor.

The HSE have pointed out that further problems arise when batteries are discarded when they still have wires attached to them, as they can easily short circuit. Add to that the fact that in the average refuse or recycling collection vehicle, there is a tonne of plastic and paper, and you have the fuel needed for a fire.

The fact that many batteries are now made with lithium, which releases more energy, and if bent or damaged, are more likely to short circuit. Remember the volatile batteries in the ill-fated Samsung Note 7? These were lithium batteries.

Even when you take a battery to a recycling point, you should be cautious. The advice is to put tape over the ends of the battery terminals. It makes the battery less likely to come into contact with another material and ignite.

And if you have old batteries at home? Don’t just leave them in a drawer with coins and old paperclips, as this can cause them to short circuit. Take them to a recycling point.


Firefighters spent a whole night trying to contain a huge blaze that broke out at a recycling plant in Manchester. The items that were on fire were believed to be recycled computer parts that were in an industrial container.

8 Engines attended the scene, where a downed power line also caused problems for the fire service. Residents living in the surrounding areas were advised to stay indoors and to keep their doors and windows shut as smoke billowed across the M60. Some people were actually evacuated from their homes until the blaze was bought under control in the early hours of the morning.

Fire Engines

Coffee company, Nespresso, who are part of the Swiss company Nestlé, have announced that they are introducing a pilot scheme which will allow customers to recycle their used coffee machine capsules through their local household waste collection service.

The pilot is running for 6 months, and it is starting in the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. People who are members of the company’s ‘Nespresso Club’, who order coffee deliveries and get their machine maintained, can recycle their used pods in a special purple bag that the company will provide. The pods will then be collected along with their other recyclables.

Nespresso capsules are made from aluminium, while most other coffee pods are made from plastic and foil, and they need to be recycled separately. When coffee residue is left in the pods, this can make the recycling process more difficult, due to contamination.

Once the pods are collected, they will be sent to the company’s recycling facility, and any residual coffee granules will be made into compost.

This is a big step towards sustainable operating for the coffee market, as it is an ever- increasing market in the UK. Research has shown that over a quarter of people in the UK own a coffee machine.

Nespresso introduced their recycling scheme in response to customer demand for a convenient recycling method.

The company introduced a dedicated recycling service 7 years ago, which gave customers several options for recycling their used pods. Customers can drop off their pods at various pick up points provided, at one of the UK’s ‘Nespresso boutiques’, or when they order their coffee online, they can ask for the company to collect them.

The company plan to roll out the scheme further if the Kensington and Chelsea scheme is successful.

The company has previously faced a backlash against single-use pods, because many of them just end up in landfill. Around 39,000 single-use pods are made every minute, of which 29,000 end up in landfill. Critics say that this is the epitome of our throwaway society.

Coffee company Lavazza launched the first completely biodegradable coffee capsule in 2015, in partnership with biochemical firm Novamont.

Coffee Capsule

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