Iowa Waste Management Agency Warns Residents Not to Throw Batteries in the Trash
How many times have you thrown out "dead" batteries or battery-powered devices? Well did you know doing just that could lead to some serious fires, environmental pollution, and risk the safety of our local workers?
According to a press release from the Dubuque Metropolitan Area Solid Waste Agency, rechargeable batteries have become an issue for the local recycling centers. Early this year the Wisconsin DNR issued statements about severe damage and fires due to battery explosions at recycling centers across the state, and now it seems those same issues have come to Dubuque.
According to the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC), consumers use an average of six wireless products in their daily lives with cell phones and cordless power tools topping the list. This adds up to a considerable waste stream issue when the batteries or the products they are embedded in need to be replaced. The batteries also pose a significant fire risk to solid waste vehicles and solid waste and recycling facilities when they are disposed of improperly.
According to past reports, there have been damaging fires at multiple Wisconsin recycling facilities. While it can be hard to pinpoint the cause of each fire, many batteries, specifically powerful lithium-ion batteries, can cause fires when not disposed of properly. These batteries hold a considerable charge even when they no longer provide enough energy to power the device they are held in. When they become damaged, sparks can be released. Additionally, the simple process of overheating can cause flammable materials next to the battery to burst into flames.
The Dubuque Metropolitan Area Solid Waste Agency (DMASWA) is reminding everyone to recycle all batteries and battery-containing devices. Recycling batteries and battery-containing devices conserve natural resources by recovering valuable metals, reduces the risks from improper disposal, and protects our local community by eliminating materials that can contaminate waterways and land resources.
Batteries and battery-containing devices should never be placed in your recycling bin or household trash. Several locations, including the Regional Collection Center located at the landfill, accept batteries and battery-containing devices. For a complete list of sites and more information, go to dmaswa.org/wastesearch or call 563-557-8220. More details on recycling batteries in the state of Iowa can be found here.