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Lithium-ion Batteries are Causing Five-alarm Fires in Garbage Trucks, Waste and Recycling Facilities

Getty Images lithium ion battery
In 2017, 65 percent of fires in California waste facilities started with lithium-ion batteries.

Makers of lithium-ion batteries, which power items like cell phones, laptops and power tools, are asking people to stop throwing their batteries in their waste and recycling bins because the batteries are causing five-alarm fires in garbage trucks and waste and recycling facilities.

In March, a lithium-ion battery sparked a five-alarm fire at a recycling facility in Queens in New York City, which burned for two days. And a recycling plant in Indianapolis shut down after a fire was caused by batteries.

Instead of placing the batteries in waste and recycling bins, people are being encouraged to recycle them through one of the many recycling programs offered through stores like Home Depot, Best Buy and Lowes.

USA TODAY has more information:

Love your electronic devices all you want, but please, please, please don’t throw them in the trash when you’re done with them.

That’s a plea from makers of the lithium-ion batteries that typically power our phones, laptops and even power tools. Thrown into the trash or even the recycling bin, they can cause fires at trash and recycling centers.

Last year, 65% of waste facilities fires   in California began with lithium-ion batteries. And when one goes, others can, too.

Read the full story here.

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