Free weekly kerbside battery recycling service launches. Breckland, Kings Lynn and West Norfolk and North Norfolk Councils are delighted to be launching a new free weekly kerbside collection service to residents in partnership with Serco. From 30th January residents will be able to recycle used household batteries.

The collections will be weekly, so residents just need to place their used household batteries in a freezer bag, or similar sized clear bag, on top of either their black or green bin on their usual collection day for them to be recycled. It is important that the batteries are placed on top of the bins because if they are not separated, they will go into the body of the vehicle where they risk being crushed which can cause vehicle fires and fires at the processing facility. Batteries are made from many different materials including lithium-ion (used in laptop batteries), zinc (used in AA batteries) and nickel cadmium (used in power tool batteries); all are recycled into their component parts. The recovered materials can be used to manufacture new batteries and electronics; they can also be used in the steel industry and even in paint production.

Cllr Helen Crane, Executive Member for Waste, Environmental Health, Licensing & Sustainability at Breckland Council commented: “Residents across Norfolk have contributed greatly to recycling every year, and we want to encourage that trend. This new recycling scheme will be incredibly beneficial for both the environment and the economy. This new service will help recover ever decreasing natural raw materials for reuse in new products, whilst ensuring hazardous items are safely and responsibly disposed of.” Cllr Paul Kunes, Cabinet member for Environment and CO2 reduction at the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, said: “I am glad that Serco are introducing this additional weekly service to make recycling even more convenient for residents of west Norfolk. Being able to introduce this scheme means that residents can recycle even more.

Recycling reduces CO2 emissions at a time when reducing emissions is becoming more important. “Batteries are made up of a number of components which when large enough volumes are collected offer a very valuable mixture of materials which can be recycled and used to make new products including new batteries. Collecting small household batteries weekly allows these small amounts to be brought together at our depot in King’s Lynn before being sent for processing. Collections at the kerbside means that it could not be easier for residents to participate in this scheme. We want to continue our journey of reducing CO2 emissions and recycling more. “Recycling batteries is also safer for our collection and processing teams as some types of battery can cause significant problems when they are crushed both in the collection lorry or at waste management and recycling facilities. By using the kerbside collection for batteries it is both better for the environment and safer for everybody.

Cllr Nigel Lloyd, portfolio holder for Environmental Services, Climate Change and Environment, NNDC, said: “I am delighted that North Norfolk District Council, working in partnership with Serco, will be offering this new kerbside small battery collection service to North Norfolk residents. As a society we have become more and more reliant on battery powered devices. However, spent batteries can pose a significant risk to the environment when not disposed of responsibly and can be dangerous if they enter our standard waste processing facilities. “I hope residents will take advantage of this new service. Our desire is to make it easier for residents to protect their environment with the added benefit of recycling the increasingly scarce metals found within batteries.” George Roach Serco Norfolk’s Senior Contract Manger said, ” We are delighted to be working with the authorities to provide this new weekly recycling service to their residents.”

(Source: Breckland)