National Battery Day on February 18 is meant to recognize the importance of batteries and the role they play in powering our lives. However, the safe and proper end-of-life management of batteries is critical -for people, property, and the environment.
With an uptick in fires in collection trucks and at recycling and disposal facilities, Recycle My Battery is spreading awareness and setting free battery bins across the US to encourage and follow the proper disposal of used batteries and electronics.
Many batteries, especially powerful lithium-ion batteries in small electronics, can hold a considerable charge even when they no longer provide sufficient energy to power a device. When these batteries are damaged, they can spark or react in ways that can lead to a fire.
When consumers put used batteries or electronics in trash or recycling bins, the heavy equipment involved with collecting, sorting, and recycling or disposing of the waste can easily damage the batteries. 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, This could cause damage to property or even worse put lives at risk.
Collection trucks, recycling facilities, transfer stations, and landfills have seen increasing numbers of fires caused by damaged batteries. A 2021 study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency identified 245 fires in waste management facilities and vehicles nationwide between 2013 and 2020 likely caused by lithium-ion batteries.
If not caught early, these fires can quickly spread and injure workers or firefighters and cause major damage to equipment, with some even destroying entire facilities. The EPA study found fires were particularly damaging at facilities that recycle materials like cans, bottles, and paper, as facilities like that are not designed to handle electronics or batteries.
Let us all do the pledge to spread awareness about the recycling of batteries:
– I SPEAK UP When I See People Throwing Batteries in the Trash
– I REACH OUT to others and spread awareness of recycling batteries properly
– I SERVE the mother earth to make it a better place to live
Here is the slogan we all believe to make the earth a better place to live :
If I can make the Earth a better place to live, you can. If you can make the Earth a better place to live, we all can!
Author: Saadhana Dara
Source: Merrill Foto News