Environmental Stewardship & Continuous Improvement in Solid Waste Management

ABC’s Of Battery Disposal

By: West Central Iowa Solid Waste Date: August 25, 2023

We are life long learners as our world is constantly evolving. Now is a good time to learn the ABC’s of modern battery disposal!

Batteries of the past were made with disposable materials, but the batteries of today are not. They contain materials that are highly combustable when the casing of the battery is cracked or crushed.

Modern batteries are Hazardous Waste that require a special means of disposal. Some hazardous batteries can be dismantled and the materials used again in production of new batteries.

In the past years we have experienced an uptake of fires in the Carroll landfill. Most times our Landfill Operators are able to see the battery explode as they are moving and crushing the trash, allowing them the opportunity to smother the fire before it spreads. It’s the smoldering batteries that are under the trash that are the problem. Fire erupts during the night, and the resulting fire takes days and weeks to fully extinguish.

There have been several battery fires across the nation in the past year that have completely destroyed Recycling Centers. Imagine the fuel for the fire inside a paper recycle center.

Earlier this summer our Landfill Operators experienced a flaming battery coming from the back of a semi load of trash. It would have been catastrophic if that semi would have become engulfed in flames as it traveled on the highway. Thankfully, the flames were quickly extinguished and a fully engulfed fire was averted.

You can do your part to prevent battery fires by keeping batteries OUT of the trash an IN the Hazardous Waste Program. Batteries can be disposed of free of charge at your local Transfer Station or the Carroll Recycle Center. OR, for your convenience, we have implemented a Battery Collection Program that brings collection sites into our communities and local businesses.

Visit our Hazardous Waste link BELOW for full details of battery disposal and Battery Collection Sites in your community.