Oxford City Council is urging residents not to put lithium batteries in their household bins because they can cause fires.
Last September, a waste collection vehicle caught fire in Little Tew, West Oxfordshire, after a laptop containing four lithium batteries was put in a household bin.
The collection crew heard an explosion in the back of the vehicle as they were crushing the waste, and then a fire broke out.
The Fire Service, using thermal imagining technology, was able to tell that the fire had been caused during the compacting process when a laptop containing four large lithium batteries was crushed.
Oxford residents can dispose of their lithium batteries – which are used in laptops, digital cameras, power tools and hearing aids – in the pink WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) banks.
Oxford residents can also recycle small electrical items, including laptops, by leaving them on top of either bin lid on their collection day.
Oxfordshire’s councils are running a campaign throughout April to encourage residents to recycle their unwanted small electrical items.
Residents can win a refurbished iPad by making an online pledge to recycle old electrical items on the Recycle For Oxfordshire website. The closing date is 30 April and the winner will be announced in the May issue of YourOxfordshire.
Amy Bridgford, Oxford City Council Recycling Team Leader, said: “This is a prime example of why correct waste disposal is not just about reducing waste, but also about preventing serious injuries and damage.”