North Devon Council will no longer accept batteries in recycling collections after a second fire in three weeks at its Brynsworthy recycling centre.

Fire crews were called to the centre on Thursday morning (July 25) after a second fire broke out in the recycling hall.

The first blaze was on July 9 after a deep-seated fire in five tonnes of plastic.

Loose batteries are believed to have been the cause for both fires. The batteries are thought to have been scraping along the floor as recycling was pushed along by machinery, igniting the surrounding plastic.

The council is now asking residents to stop putting batteries in their recycling.

The council's Brynsworthy recycling depot.The council's Brynsworthy recycling depot.

NDC chief executive Ken Miles said: "It's unfortunate that we are going to have to ask the public to stop putting their batteries in their weekly recycling but the risk has now become too great.

"It doesn't mean that people have to stop recycling their batteries as many supermarkets have battery collection points and they can also be taken to recycling centres."

Residents have been able to recycle their batteries in weekly collections if they are bagged up, but it is thought some have come loose and ended up in the mixed recycling.

The council said Thursday's fire was out within half an hour, with staff able to get back into the building once the site had been declared safe by the fire service.