West Lothian residents are being advised to take care when disposing of electrical items this festive period.
An increasing number of electrical items now contain lithium-ion batteries – from children’s toys, alarms, laptops, electric toothbrushes and e-cigarettes. If damaged, these batteries can project a shaft of flame, which can lead to fires.
Householders are asked to take extra care when disposing of these items in particular, and ensure they are not placed in any wheeled bins for collection.
This could lead to potentially dangerous fires in a refuse collection vehicle or waste transfer facility.
In 2018-19, 27 per cent of the 728 waste fires reported by the Environmental Services Association (ESA) were attributed to lithium-ion batteries.
Unwanted electrical items can be disposed of at any of the five recycling centres in West Lothian.
For opening hours visit www.westlothian.gov.uk/recycling-centre-opening-times. Portable batteries, such as AA or AAA, can also be disposed of at recycling centres, in the appropriate battery container, with a number of local retailers now also hosting battery recycling points.