What’s a zombie battery?

Dead batteries hiding in waste bins or old electrical items, like phones, power tools and laptops, are rising from the grave in their millions. This rampaging hoard of Zombie Batteries are attacking waste management and recycling facilities, causing explosions and fires which can endanger lives.

Check out our short film to find out what zombie batteries are, and how batteries can be dangerous if they’re not recycled responsibly.

The dangers of used batteries..

Dead batteries thrown away in the general rubbish, or mixed with other recyclable materials like card, metals and plastics, can be very dangerous. We call these “zombie batteries” because they have a habit of coming back from the dead to terrorise recycling and waste facilities.

When your general rubbish or recycling is collected, any zombie batteries hiding in it are unintentionally likely to be squashed, compacted, punctured, shredded or soaked in liquids. When this happens, some types of battery can get very hot or ignite, resulting in fires that put lives at risk; cause millions of pounds of damage; and disrupt your waste services.

Even if they don’t cause a fire, if damaged, these zombie batteries contain chemicals and materials that can harm the environment if they aren’t recycled responsibly.

Rechargable Batteries..

Some modern rechargeable batteries are very powerful and can contain lots of energy. These batteries are safe during normal use, but they can quickly cause fires in general waste and recycling facilities if they become severely damaged.

The main types of rechargeable battery are Lithium-Ion (Li-ion), Lithium-Polymer (LiPo), Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd, Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) and Lead Acid.

Most of these batteries are often found in portable electronic devices such as laptops, tablets, mobile phones, cameras, power-tools, remote-controlled toys, drones, electric scooters or “hoverboards” and even e-cigarettes. Lead Acid batteries are usually much larger and used in vehicles like cars, golf-carts and mobility scooters.

By recycling batteries responsibly, you can make sure all these types of batteries end up in safe, specialist, battery recycling facilities.  Find out how you can recycle your batteries.

If you still have questions about zombie batteries or how to recycle them responsibly, check out our FAQ section.

Every year people across the UK throw away the equivalent of 22,000 tonnes of batteries and only a third of these are recycled properly. The rest end up in the rubbish bin or mixed with other recycling where they can become zombies!

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