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Dangerous blaze prompts recycling warning

Following a fire at a waste transfer station near Boston which may have been started by batteries inappropriately disposed of, waste managers are warning about the dangers of disposing batteries and electrical goods in home recycling bins.

Fire at Sleaford Waste Transfer Station

Fire at Sleaford Waste Transfer Station

Around 60 tonnes of recycled waste was severely damaged at Slippery Gowt Lane, Wyberton when a fire broke out among the recycling.

Five appliances attended the blaze and firefighters were assisted by on-site staff with heavy machinery to move the piles of burning waste. Firefighters praised staff from the county council, district council and the haulage company Mid UK, who took swift action in reducing the impact of the fire.

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue were able to prevent any disruption to the day to day collection of recycled waste by bringing the fire under control quickly.

Whilst the exact cause of the fire is still under investigation, two burned out laptops, complete with batteries were discovered among the embers.

Christian Allen, head of environmental operations at Boston Borough Council, said:

“Batteries and electrical items can be recycled, but not in your home recycling bin. They should be taken to Household Waste Recycling centres for proper disposal.

“Batteries can get very hot when they’re amongst other waste and as well as being dangerous, they can contaminate other materials so that waste cannot be recycled.

“Damaged laptop batteries are a genuine risk which is why we always advise to dispose of them in the appropriate way at your nearest recycling centre. We all want to do the right thing for the environment by reducing, reusing and recycling as much as possible but it is important we do it in the right way.”

Fire investigation officer at Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, Jason Lawley, also expressed concern about the fire risk householders are unknowingly causing. He said:

“Electrical devices should always be disposed of appropriately. Once they become damaged, probably from impact, they can short circuit which often causes a rise in temperature leading to a fire.”

Cllr Eddy Poll, executive councillor for environmental management, added:

“In the face of adversity everyone worked really well together to make sure there was no disruption. This was a great example of all the organisations coming together to overcome a problem.”

“The recent fire at Boston Waste Transfer Station really shows the importance of taking care to only put the right things into our domestic bins.”

Further information about recycling in Lincolnshire is available via

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