Disposable Vape Recycling to Combat Fires
Vaping is on the rise and after running out of puff, many vapes are dumped by the roadside or in general waste bins- I’m sure most of us have seen them flashing by the roadside on our travels!
The latest research from Material Focus, released 8th September 2023 has revealed that the number of disposable single-use vapes thrown away has soared from 1.3 million to nearly 5 million per week in the UK alone, this is equivalent to 8 per second being thrown away – almost four times the number since the research was first conducted last year.
This prevalence of vapes has caused serious implications for the waste sector.
Disposable vapes are now leading to an increasing number of fires at waste facilities.
What are the risks?
Many people don’t realise that vapes contain lithium batteries and are considered e-waste under the WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) Regulations. This means everyone has an obligation to dispose of batteries through a proper recycling and collection point.
Currently, too many batteries are ending up in general or recycling bins. When collected, these can be chopped up, damaged, or split open by blades and compaction equipment used within the waste industry. When damaged in refuse collection vehicles or at waste facilities, batteries can catch fire or explode and cause serious damage to surrounding equipment and endanger lives.
Some local councils offer used battery collection service if you bag the batteries up and place them on top of your general waste bin on bin collection day. (please check your local council battery recycling page for details) Alternatively you can visit a local recycling centre using the links below: