Aberdeenshire and Veolia launch ‘safer’ vape recycling’

Aberdeenshire council, in collaboration with Veolia, has announced it has launched a “safer way” to recycle vapes across the country to minimise the risk of fires. 

The council has reported that all recycling centres will have “specialised drums” which will be used to store vapes and e-cigarettes.  

Aberdeen council has said that the drums will layer the items with vermiculite, which is a mineral that is reported to minimise the risk of fires associated with lithium-ion batteries. Aberdeenshire council has also stated that vermiculite is reusable.   

According to the council in the case of vapes with removal batteries, the battery should be removed from the casing and disposed of in a battery recycling receptacle. 

Aberdeenshire council has highlighted that recycling 10 tonnes of lithium could supply enough material to produce batteries for around 1,200 electric cars. 

The new system is available at all household recycling centres across the county. 


Councillor Alan Turner, chair of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee (ISC), said: “Vapes are an ongoing and ever-increasing issue for the environment in terms of litter, material resources, and the risk of fire. With this solution in place, there is now a safer way to store and recycle them. 

“If you are not sure where the drums are at your local recycling centre, please feel free to ask a member of staff and they will be happy to help you.” 


ISC vice chair, councillor Isobel Davidson said: “Despite being marketed as disposable, vapes are actually made from valuable materials like aluminium, copper, and lithium. The processes for creating such materials can be very carbon intensive, which makes recycling vapes even more important.”  

Binned vapes are part of the fastest growing sources of electrical waste in the UK. Material Focus research has shown that the number of disposable vapes being thrown away in the UK has grown across a single year from 1.3 million to five million per week. 


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