City of Casper reminds that chargeable batteries should not be thrown out in normal trash

Published: Dec. 27, 2021 at 4:57 PM CST
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - The City of Casper is making a push to remind residents that chargeable batteries should not be tossed out with the trash. As people recycle their old tools, toys, and electronics after the holidays, rechargeable batteries should be taken to the Special Waste Facility.

Lithium batteries come in a wide range of sizes and are sometimes hidden in devices and are not easily removable. They can be found in headphones, toothbrushes, hearing aids, laptops, gaming devices, and more.

“In the last couple of months, the landfill has seen a lot more fires caused by lithium batteries because when lithium batteries are damaged, when batteries are cracked or broken open, they can lead to fires,” said City of Casper Community Relations Coordinator Beth Andress.

Lithium batteries work by creating chemical reactions. The battery contains a flammable liquid electrolyte to assist in the reaction. Lithium metal inside the battery is also reactive to air and water. When lithium batteries are thrown away, they will be crushed and smashed by equipment, making them more likely to catch on fire.

Batteries that can be removed as part of their charging process should be removed before recycling. If removing the battery is not part of the charging process, the whole item, like a phone or hoverboard, can be brought to the Special Waste Facility.

“These devices that you charge do have batteries in them, a lot of people forget that on smaller things like headphones. Sometimes we think, ‘oh I’ll just throw away the power tools, the battery doesn’t matter’ those chargeable batteries are dangerous in the trash,” said Andress.

If a battery is damaged, place it in a container with sand or cat litter and bring it to the Special Waste Facility. Ring the bell for assistance and a staff member will take the battery. Do not place damaged batteries in a drop-off bin.

The Special Waste Facility offers free recycling for Natrona County Residents and varying rates for businesses. For rates call 307-235-8246. The Special Waste Facility is a self-service drop-off, place items in the appropriate bin.

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