Monday, July 14 - recycle batteries, East Devon residents urged.

PUBLISHED: 20:00 14 July 2008 | UPDATED: 09:18 10 June 2010

EAST Devon's residents are being urged to recycle their batteries in an aim to reduce waste sent to landfill sites.

EAST Devon's residents are being urged to recycle their batteries in an aim to reduce waste sent to landfill sites.

Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) estimates the number of batteries which are thrown away in landfill sites would stretch almost 20,000 miles - the equivalent of flying to Australia and back.

To cut down on waste WRAP has teamed up with East Devon District Council to encourage residents in East Devon to increase the number of batteries that they recycle through their local kerbside collection trial.

The scheme is one of several nationwide trials taking place to help identify the most efficient way to recycle batteries.

WRAP believes British households are putting 700 million batteries in the bin each year when they could be recycled.

UK householders use an increasing number of battery-operated gadgets in the home and many have a surprisingly short battery life, said WRAP.

David Cox, portfolio holder for East Devon District Council StreetScene, said until people start saving-up batteries for recycling, rather than putting them in the bin, they might not realise just how many they use in a year.

"If you ask people how many batteries they use in a year, they usually say anything from 'none' to 'a handful'. However, when they start to think about the number of household gadgets they have that have batteries in them, the number soon rockets.

"Residents in East Devon are already doing an excellent job recycling their unwanted batteries since our scheme was launched, but I urge other residents who haven't yet used the scheme to collect-up their dead batteries and recycle them."

To help people realise just how many batteries we use, WRAP has created a basket of battery-operated goods that the typical UK household might have. The research shows that even the most sophisticated gadgets still drain batteries fast - potentially adding to the 700 million battery landfill mountain that the nation creates each year.

For example an electric shaver has a battery life of one hour, a portable radio, 15 hours, portable CD player, 22 hours and a games console controller, 35 hours.

Chris Davey, batteries programme manager at WRAP, said: "It's sobering to think that the number of batteries we throw away would stretch to the other side of the world and back. As we buy more electronic goods such as games consoles, mobile phones, wireless gadgets and toys, the situation can only get worse for our environment unless we recycle more.

"It's just as easy to save used batteries for recycling, as it is to throw them away. By doing that you'll soon realise what a positive impact changing your habit will make to the environment."

Taking part in your battery recycling scheme is easy. All you need to do is collect all your unwanted or used batteries - including AAA and AA, button batteries, size C and D, and any laptop and mobile phone batteries, place them in the dedicated container and leave it outside on the allocated collection day.

For more information about battery recycling in your area call East Devon District Council on (01395) 517528, call the WRAP helpline on 08453 313131 or visit www.recyclenow.org.uk

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