Thursday, May 01, 2008

How to Recycle Batteries in London

The beauty of having such changeable weather is that everyone takes particular enjoyment during the good bits, and this afternoon London was beaming. I myself walked down to Paddington Station, along the canal, through Paddington Central and Sheldon Square, to collect my rail ticket for tomorrow.

The rail staff chap in the booth told me he finds the new ticketing confusing – don’t we all?! So I’m on the 10:15am tomorrow to Cambridge, with a Standard Single ticket, as that’s cheaper than a Cheap Single ticket. Go figure. On the way back, I stop at Starbucks, next to my beloved canal, and enjoy a regular size cappuccino for 2UKP40, i.e. almost 5US$. Last night a pint of Bombardier ale was about 3UKP50 in pubs in the city. Scandinavian prices without their quality of living, eh?

Now, I had a pile of regular batteries that needed disposing of in some way, and as our consciences will tell us, we can’t just pop them in the bin any more. What needs to be done is a spot of recycling, but this is not as easy as you’d imagine in London. Sainsbury’s used to collect in store or via a freepost system, but no longer (some idiots were posting them car batteries), and the main official UK collection point is in Smuggler’s Way, down in Battersea, a mission for those of us who live the decent side of the river.

Westminster just send you to Smuggler’s Way, no brownie points earnt there. However, on investigation, I found that Camden Council do have battery recycling bins in certain locations – the one that turned out convenient for me is at the back of Homebase in Finchley Road O2 Centre. Here’s what it looks like:

There is a list of the other locations here, though at least one of the other claimed spots is battery bin deficient, so take with a pinch of salt.

Wish me luck! Tomorrow I’ll cycle from Cambridge to Cromer (well actually to Aldborough and then on to Sheringham, but that’s not quite as catchy). This is a warm-up ride for London to Lille, and I’m quite looking forward to it, across East Anglia – Dereham, Thetford, Mildenhall etc. Old England avoiding the A11 - I do hope it doesn’t rain though, quite an ambitious wish in the current clime. Next warm-up is probably London to Brighton and back again with Wilson as soon as he stops avoiding me, then perhaps a dry run down to Folkstone. I’ve purchased extra inner tubes for my bike, but hope I don’t have to use them – my thin sexy wheels are not much fun when it comes to maintaining them, especially if one is miles from a bike shop with competent types to get you out of trouble!

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