Battery recycling warning after lorry fire caused by vapes in Powys

The public have been warned to recycle batteries safely after a lorry fire believed to have been caused by disposable vapes.

Crews were called to an incident along the Newtown bypass in Powys at 3.50pm on Friday.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said the incident involved a large goods vehicle containing general recycling waste.

The service said the fire is believed to have been caused by vapes which had not been disposed of correctly.

Several of them were found among the 13 tonnes of mixed recycling removed from the vehicle's trailer after the fire was extinguished.

They appeared to have been crushed and damaged, which, the service says, would have sparked and ignited the rest of the rubbish.

The road was closed due to the vehicle's contents spreading on to the bypass.

Fire crews left the scene at 12.27am on Saturday.

Natural Resources Wales, Dyfed-Powys Police and Powys County Council were also in attendance.

Research from the National Fire Chiefs Council and Recycle Your Electricals found the number of battery fires in bin lorries and at UK waste sites has reached their highest level, with an increase of 71% from 700 in 2022 to more than 1,200 in the last year.

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Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service has warned of the risk of lithium-ion batteries if they are not recycled correctly.

They are hidden inside items such laptops, mobile phones, electric toothbrushes, vapes and ear pods.

The service said battery fires can endanger lives and cause "serious environmental and health risks".