Southend is joining the fight against so-called zombie batteries in a bid to tackle the growing number of fires caused by carelessly discarded dead batteries.

Southend Council and waste contractor Veolia are supporting the new national Take Charge campaign, which urges consumers to only recycle dead batteries using specialist battery recycling services, and to never throw batteries away alongside general rubbish or other recycling.

Recent data collected by the Environmental Services Association shows between April 2019 and March 2020, lithium-ion batteries alone were thought to be responsible for more than 250 fires.

Carole Mulroney, councillor responsible for environment and planning, said: “We know that Southend residents want to do the right thing with their waste, but unfortunately, a large number of used batteries are not being recycled properly.

“Fires caused by carelessly discarded batteries endanger lives, cause damage to the machines at the recycling centres and disrupt waste services.

"We urge all residents to please recycle batteries responsibly by taking them to their local recycling centre, major supermarkets or retailers.”

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