100 tonnes of household recycling set alight
Smugglers Way Waste Recycling facility. Picture: Google Streetview
May 11, 2023
London Fire Brigade are blaming a carelessly discarded lithium battery for causing a major fire at Smugglers Way in the early hours of Thursday (11 May).
Six fire engines and around 40 firefighters were called to the recycling plant in Wandsworth at 12:46am and battled the blaze for nearly three hours. Crews from Wandsworth, Battersea, Fulham, Chelsea and Tooting fire stations attended the incident.
At one point around 100 tonnes of mixed household recycling was alight.
There were no reports of any injuries.
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said, "Lithium batteries should not be placed in the same bins as your regular rubbish or recycling. If they overheat, they may cause it to catch fire. Instead, check your local authority's website for the safest way to dispose of lithium batteries in your area.
"Lithium batteries store a significant amount of energy in a very small space and are much more powerful compared to other types of batteries. If that energy is released in an uncontrolled way, then a fire or explosion may result.
"Batteries can present a fire risk if they're overcharged, short circuited, submerged in water or damaged, so it's really important to protect them against being crushed and dispose of them safely."
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