Recycling batteries and vapes

We need your help to reduce the risks by disposing of flammable items in the right way. Please do not put vapes or batteries in your grey bin.

All batteries and electrical products should display the ‘crossed out wheelie bin’. This means they should be taken to a suitable collection point and not put in your bin.

Crossed Out Wheelie Bin Symbol

What happens if I put batteries, disposable vapes or electricals in the grey bin?

When batteries are dumped into grey bins, they can cause fires in bins, bin lorries, and recycling centres. This can then put lives at risk, disrupt services, cause millions of pounds of damage and harm the environment.  

Batteries are hidden inside many everyday items, such as:

  • vapes
  • electric toothbrushes
  • shavers
  • mobile phones
  • laptops
  • electric scooters
  • children’s toys

There has been a large increase in fires since vapes first entered the market. More than 100 million vapes each week in the UK end up in grey bins. Vapes contain lithium batteries which are highly flammable if broken.  

Where can I recycle batteries, vapes, and electrical items?

You can find places to recycle electricals by visiting recycle your electricals.

You can recycle batteries at most places that sell batteries as well as the household waste recycling centres.

Batteries should be taken out of all items you are disposing of and recycled. If the battery can't be taken out these items need to be treated as electrical items.

In 2024 new rules were brought in for recycling vapes. As a result, all places that sell vapes must also provide a way to recycle them.

Why should we recycle these items?

We should always recycle or reuse where possible. Doing this will mean we can make the most of the valuable materials they contain. For example, the lithium in vapes is used in electric car batteries. Recycling vapes would save the UK almost 5000 electric cars worth of lithium from being lost each year.