SAN FRANCISCO – 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.
“If there are multiple batteries there, you will have not just a fire, you will have explosions,” said Carl Smith, CEO and president of Call2Recycle, a national recycling program funded by battery manufacturers.
It’s such a big problem that California has launched an awareness campaign to try to get consumers to keep these ever-so-useful but also potentially dangerous items out of garbage trucks and landfills. It’s part of a national effort to keep increasingly common batteries from causing fires.
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