Battery fires close two recycling centres in the same week

At the tip

Both Spalding and Gainsborough recycling centres were forced to close after carelessly discarded batteries started fires at the sites.

Crews from Spalding and Boston fire stations attended a blaze at Spalding Household Waste Recycing Centre shortly after 11am on Monday 5 February. The fire started after a car battery was discarded into the general waste. The site had to remain closed for several hours, reopening later that afternoon.

Then, on Saturday 10 February, Gainsborough Household Waste Recycling Centre was forced to close after a fire broke out in their general waste bin. A fire crew from Gainsborough attended shortly after 3pm and identified that a wrongly-discarded AA battery was the cause. The recycling centre reopened the following day.

It has prompted to council to reissue its warning to residents that batteries and electricals cannot be discarded in bins – either at home or at a recycling centre – and need to be recycled with other electricals in the appropriate separate containers on site.

Cllr Daniel McNally, executive member for waste and recycling at Lincolnshire County Council, explains:

“Whether it goes into your bins at home, or to a Household Waste Recycling Centre, waste is compacted a number of times on its journey to its final destination, and it’s at these points where electrical items that have been disposed of incorrectly can spark and start a fire.

“These incidents at Spalding and Gainsborough are the latest in a line of fires caused by electrical items in the wrong place. We’ve seen fires in bin lorries and even fires at our contractors’ processing plants; it needs to stop.

“Putting electrical items and batteries in bins puts waste workers at risk. You’ll find recycling points for batteries and electrical items of all types and sizes at each of our household waste recycling centres. You can also recycle batteries at most supermarkets”.

If you’re in doubt about how and where you can recycle items in Lincolnshire, please visit

Published: 9th February 2024