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In order to make power banks we need to collect old laptop batteries and old vape batteries which we then recycle. Want to become a battery collector for Roots?

Let's recycle, and let's help refugees in the process

How do you source batteries for roots?

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In order to source batteries for Roots you will need to strike up conversations with your local vape and computer shops to ask them for old vapes and laptop batteries. These shops will become "collection points". Print off our relevant posters and ask them to make it visible for customers to see and get on board!

When they have gathered some batteries we will need you to collect them and we can then arrange to get them to Calais ASAP via our network.


The specific type of battery we are after is called “18650 lithium ion”. Colourfully wrapped, these batteries are used in everything from your electric toothbrush to electric vehicles and everything in between (vapes, power tools, pushbikes). 


18650 lithium ion batteries are the most common type of battery used in laptop batteries. If you go to an electrical or vape shop and ask the assistant they will understand. There are a few different types of vape & laptop batteries but the ones mentioned above are the correct dimensions and chemistry to fit our devices. Inside the plastic casing of laptops and vapes (right) will be batteries that look like the green ones on the left. 

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do you know anyone who knows anyone who could get us in touch with tesla?

If we get one Tesla car battery, it will provide power banks for 1000 people!

what do we use the laptop & vape batteries in?

We have three projects that use these batteries:

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We use 1 battery per torch reducing the cost from 20p per AAA replacement to 0.08p per recharge

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We use 6 batteries per power bank, the power banks are used to charge mobile phones and also have a built in torch. We also provide UBS hand warmers in the winter months which last 9 hours on our weakest power banks.

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Project Box is a USB charging station which can charge 32 devices at once. Each box contains 112 vape batteries and can be charged using a solar system or from the mains. These boxes can be used in urban area where generators are not practical as well as small groups of people on the move. 

is using old batteries safe?

Each battery is put through a thorough testing cycle. It takes 1 month from start to finish. We start by checking the external condition, any battery with dents, rust etc are sent to be recycled, any with damaged protective wrapping is replaced. We check the arriving voltage and charge if appropriate, checking to see if it heats up. After a month we test the voltage again to make sure it doesn't self discharge. If it gets to this stage we then test the internal resistance of the battery along with the MAH. Once we have the final results we either allocate it to one of the 3 devices above or recycle it.

can i give you my rubbish? what if it explodes or causes injury?

Reusing batteries is safe when done properly, we have the tools and equipment to test each battery thoroughly. We also have a waste carriers licence, which can be obtained by contacting us directly (person doing the collecting). This is a way of signing over your waste (batteries) to a 3rd party. When you collect batteries for us please tape down both ends!

If you have any more questions please email us at

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