Reading: Battery fire causes £20k damage to recycling centre

 battery fire at a recycling centre caused damage estimated at £20,000, a council has said. Flames erupted from a mound of waste and filled a warehouse with smoke, CCTV footage from the Smallmead site in Reading showed.

The blaze on 9 October was the ninth there so far this year, Reading Borough Council reported.

It has urged people to avoid throwing electrical items such as toothbrushes and vapes into bins.

The Smallmead site was closed for a day and waste lorries from Bracknell, Reading and Wokingham had to be diverted to Hampshire, adding to the cost, the authority said.

FCC Environment, which operates the centre, said a small battery was hard for workers to spot.

General manager Rory Brien said: “It’s when it comes here or it goes in the back of a lorry, it can get crushed, it gets damaged and it’s caught up in the machinery. That’s what causes the fire.”