Prevent Recycling Fires: Safely Dispose of Used Batteries

Batteries being held in hand and Sadoff logo 31

People do not realize this, but batteries have some dangerous potential energy in them, even if they are dead. This is especially true with lithium-ion batteries which can have explosive potential when ruptured. Unfortunately, when these batteries enter a waste or recycling facility, the potential for an explosive rupture is high, and this will often result in a fire. Learn how to prevent recycling fires by safely disposing of your used batteries with this information from Sadoff.

How to Dispose of Used Batteries

Single-use alkaline batteries, such as common AA batteries are safe to put in the trash, but the same is not true with any lithium-ion batteries, including rechargeable AA batteries and other similar types of rechargeable batteries. This also means any of your rechargeable devices such as phones or laptops also pose a risk and should not be thrown in the garbage or in the recycling bin.

What is the Risk of Improper Battery Disposal?

A punctured or bent lithium-ion battery can produce enough heat to melt or ignite materials near the battery, even if the battery itself does not ignite.
Recently, in Wisconsin, several recycling and solid waste facilities have experienced fires. Though these fires were brought under control quickly they still managed to cause severe damage to equipment. The money that went to repairing damage came out of tax-payer pockets at the end of the day, but this is the best-case scenario.

A bad fire, especially at a facility that is packed with garbage or recyclable materials can lead to a total loss of the facility or even a loss of life. Facilities do have processes in place that try to catch potential hazards before they become an issue, but with so much garbage and recyclable material in so many different shapes and sizes, the systems will never be able to catch everything as they rely mostly on people identifying the risks, by hand, before they go into machinery.

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Where to Recycle Lithium Ion Batteries and Electronics?

Your best bet is to find an e-recycling facility. All e-recycling facilities that are certified will know how to handle any battery waste that may come with your electronics. More importantly, they will know how to safely remove batteries from things like cell phones, laptops, and more. Important certifications that you want to look for include an R2V3 certification, an i-SIGMA membership, and various ISO certifications including 9001, 14001, and 45001.

Not only will these certifications ensure that your batteries are recycled properly without the risk of fire or environmental pollution, but they will reduce any liability you may have. In fact, you should seek an e-recycling facility that 100% contractually owns liability, just to be safe.

E-Recycling Facilities in Wisconsin and Nebraska

If you are looking for a certified e-recycling facility in Wisconsin or Nebraska, then you should consider coming to Sadoff E-Recycling & Data Destruction. We have facilities all over Wisconsin with options in Oshkosh, Green Bay, Sheboygan, Fond du Lac, and Manitowoc. In Nebraska, we also have a location in Lincoln plus another business-2-business location in La Vista. We provide our e-recycling services to individuals but we also provide them to businesses nationwide.

Not only can we e-recycle your electronics and safely dispose of your batteries, but we can also provide data destruction services to ensure that any data left behind on your old laptops is 100% destroyed. For all of our services, we 100% contractually own liability. You may also be interested in our IT Asset Remarketing services where we try to refurbish your old electronics for resale or even for donation. Reach out to us today to get a quote for anything you may need.

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