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Cambridge City Council recorded 7 bin lorry fires caused by batteries in 2024


Cambridge City Council have warned residents to dispose of batteries safely after recording seven bin lorry fires caused by lithium-ion batteries since January 2024.

The council said the batteries were found in mobile phones, vapes, and power packs on electric bikes and scooters.


When batteries are put into a wheelie bin, they can go on to get crushed or damaged in bin lorries, which can cause explosions and trigger fires.

Greater Cambridge Shared Waste – a partnership between Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire District councils – has warned residents to dispose of batteries correctly.

Greater Cambridge Shared Waste collects recycling and rubbish from around 131,000 households across the city of Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire.

The Head of Greater Cambridge Shared Waste Bode Esan said: “We’re seeing an increasing number of fires in the back of our trucks, and most are caused by batteries being put into wheelie bins.

“Whenever a fire breaks out in the back of one of our trucks, our crews are put in danger as they must rapidly find a safe place to unload the recycling or waste to stop the fire engulfing the lorry.

“We’re hugely grateful to Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue for their prompt assistance on many recent occasions but we should all do our bit to prevent them being needed.”

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