Disposable Vapes in Waste Streams

With the new generation getting hooked on vaping, single use e – cigarettes are on the rise. In fact, according to the BBC, 5 million disposable vapes are thrown away each week in the UK, and I open LinkedIn, and it informs me that a shocking 78% of single use vapes go straight into General Waste with them being the fastest growing waste stream in 2023.

After carrying out an experiment with the management team at Bucks HQ; it was shocking to see such a small piece of ‘plastic’ smoking and spitting when taken apart. This highlights the detrimental effect that this can potentially have for a Waste Transfer Station like ours and goes a long way to explaining why over 65% of fires in Waste Management Facilities are caused by Lithium-Ion batteries.

How Recyclable are Single-Use Vapes?

Surprisingly, a recent study by Waste Experts has revealed that 80% of the components in a single use vape are recyclable if disposed of correctly. Predominantly, they are made up of a mixture of plastic, copper, rubber, and a lithium-ion batteries. However, the catch is – to ensure that these do not sit on our planet for the next 100 years, they must be taken apart by hand, one-by-one in a process which we estimate to be around 20 seconds per vape.

What should you be doing with your used vapes?

Vapes, as containers of lithium-ion batteries, are regulated by the WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) Directive therefore, companies and individuals have a duty of care to ensure that they are disposed of correctly. Otherwise, you can be subject to an unlimited fine from the magistrate’s court under the WEEE Regulations.

Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire County council both accept domestically used vapes free of charge. All they request is that you put them in a clear plastic bag and pop them next to your general waste bin when it is collection day. This way, they can ensure that they do not cause any potentially catastrophic fires in waste management facilities, and you are fulfilling your duty of care as a waste producer by ensuring adequate segregation.

If you are a company and your staff are using Vapes whilst at work, then you have a duty of care as an employer to ensure that your staff dispose of them correctly. This means, that you may need to hire a suitable container on your building site to ensure that they are segregated. This where our all-new Bucks Recycling ‘Battery HAZ Boxes’ Come into play.

What is Bucks Recycling doing about Vape Disposal?

The rise of the ‘HAZ Battery Boxes’.

After copious amounts of coffee and discussions in our meeting room, and a very limited amount of guidance, we have decided to introduce HAZ Boxes for your sites to ensure that vapes are recycled correctly.

For a small fee, we will provide a fully stickered Bucks Recycling HAZ Box to your company or site offices. This will be automatically emptied quarterly (or more often if you prefer upon request). This means, that in those all-important toolbox talks on site, you can ensure that staff know to segregate these lethal pieces of plastic from the Wheelies/Skips/ROROs. In turn, not only are you fulfilling your duty of care, but this means that your company is helping fight the battle against global warming; meeting that all important Net Zero target by 2050.

So, why not stand out from the crowd in this competitive market and include our all new Vape Recycling service in your build quotation. Your customer might be impressed by the legislation knowledge and ensuring that all important 100% diversion from landfill and use your company on the build.

If you require any further information, or would like to request a quotation for a signed HAZ Battery Box to be delivered to your company, then please contact:

Sales@bucksrecycling.co.uk or alternatively give our office a call on 01296 651 678, and you will be Saving Tomorrow by Recycling Today.

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