Something in Your Trash is Causing Big Problems and Wasting Big Bucks

Those old batteries hanging around need to be safely recycled or else!

NBC Universal, Inc.

Battery fires are becoming a regular problem for Montgomery County’s trash transfer station. A recent News4 I-Team report revealed the county had at least 16 so far this year. Now the county is considering spending $5 million to upgrade the fire suppression system.  

But the problem isn’t isolated to just Montgomery County. According to Call2Recycle, the country’s leading consumer battery recycling program, there has been a surge in fires at recycling and waste facilities across the country due to improper disposal of batteries.

All rechargeable batteries need to be safely disposed of. This includes batteries found in our phones, laptops and power tools. Safely discarding batteries not only prevents fires but prevents your tax dollars from going up in smoke.  

How to Safely Dispose of Rechargeable Batteries

  • Never throw them in your trash or recycling bin
  • Place clear packing tape or duct tape on the batteries’ terminals
  • Place the batteries in a plastic bag or container, separate from other batteries that don’t require being taped
  • Take the batteries to your town or county’s household hazardous waste drop-off
  • Look for recycling bins at big-box retailers

Typically, it’s OK to throw away Alkaline batteries that are under 9-volts since they aren’t hazardous. But because of the recent fires, Montgomery County is asking residents to no longer do that and to bring them to the household hazardous waste drop-off instead. 

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