Council urging residents to recycle their vapes
22 May 2023
The County Council has become among the first local authorities in the country to offer vape tube recycling bins at its Household Waste Recovery Centres (tips).
The devices, commonly used as an alternative to real cigarettes, contain lithium batteries which can be highly flammable and should never be disposed of in general waste.
Last year, an Aberdeen recycling centre was hit by a devastating fire where more than 100 firefighters tackled the blaze at the Suez plant in the city.
The company believes it was likely to have been caused by a battery or battery-operated device that had been put into a recycling bin as lithium-ion batteries can explode if damaged or crushed.
The vape tube bins, now in place at all the council’s household waste facilities, will help tackle the growing environmental issues the devices cause.
In the UK, people buy half a billion vapes a year and bin a massive 3 million of them every week. They are quickly becoming part of the fastest growing waste stream in the country, with over 155,000 tonnes of the electrical waste being binned a year – enough to cover 22 football pitches.
Councillor John Riddle, Cabinet Member for Local Services, said: “While vaping poses a small fraction of the risks of smoking, disposing of the vapes should always be done correctly.
“No batteries should ever be put in general waste, they must be disposed of in a proper battery bin.
“Vaping is one of the most effective and popular tools for quitting smoking, and we urge people to recycle their vapes correctly in the bins at all our recycling centres. We have a contract with a local company who can break down the vapes into their component parts and recycle the batteries and metal parts.”
The council also has dedicated battery bins at every HWRC, and proper disposal bins are available at numerous retailers and other locations across the county.
For more details on recycling and the council’s Household Waste Recovery Centres go to https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/Waste/Tip.aspx