“Avoid the Spark. Be Battery Safety Smart”

May 16, 2018

A Public Education Campaign Led by Call2Recycle Focused on Battery Safety and Battery Recycling to Help Prevent Safety Incidents

Carl Smith, CEO and President of Call2Recycle

(Atlanta, GA, Wednesday, May 16, 2018) – “Avoid the Spark. Be Battery Safety Smart” is a public education campaign led by Call2Recycle focused on battery safety and battery recycling to help prevent safety incidents.

The objective is to raise the awareness on battery safety, including handling and transporting, While targeting consumers, the campaign wants everyone involved in the battery recycling process including sorters, processers, collection sites, municipalities and retailers.

California Fire season is here and we wanted to alert you to the dangers of waste facility fires caused lithium batteries … batteries that are in every day products. The reality, however, is that few know about proper fire safety protocols in their communities, and how tossing batteries in the trash may cause fires at facilities and landfills that could otherwise be avoided.

In fact, in 2017, 65% of waste facility fires in California began with lithium-ion batteries. Every day, Bay Area citizens throw away cell phones, headphones, and old batteries because they don’t know any better, and we know that San Franciscans purchased 17 million batteries in 2017.

If batteries, especially lithium-based, are thrown into the garbage, they can cause a spark that could endanger individuals and surrounding property. Certain types of batteries, such as Nickel Cadmium rechargeable, can contaminate the environment if not properly disposed of.

Call2Recycle offers more than 15,000 public drop-off sites where consumers can recycle their rechargeable and cellphone batteries at no cost. At the end of the day, batteries are valuable and recycling them can reduce the need to mine for virgin materials along with transforming reclaimable materials into other usable products.

Consumer education and awareness are key components to changing behavior and ensuring more batteries are recycled the right way.  The best way to ensure that batteries aren’t filling our landfills is to make sure they never get there.

The ultimate goal is to mitigate safety incidents, reduce the number of fires caused by batteries and stop batteries from polluting our soils.

Five tips for safe and easy battery recycling:

  1. Safety first! Be sure to safely prep your batteries. There are two options: bag or tape. Option A: Bag each battery in its own clear plastic bag before placing it in a storage container. Option B: you can tape the terminals with clear packing, non-conductive electrical or duct tape, keeping label visible.
  2. Stay cool. Store the batteries in a cool, dry place. Incidents can occur when batteries (or the devices they power such as a cell phone or tablet) are exposed to inclement or excessively hot weather. Store them in a plastic container; avoid metal.
  3. Possible damage? If you see a swollen or bulging battery, immediately put it in a non-flammable material such as sand or kitty litter in a cool, dry place. DO NOT THROW AWAY. Contact Call2Recycle, the manufacturer or retailer immediately for instructions, especially if the label says it is Lithium or Lithium-Ion.
  4. Timing is everything. Drop batteries off for recycling within six months, ensuring they are bagged or taped. You can use the Call2Recycle locator to find the nearest drop-off site.
  5. Spread the word. As we all use batteries to power our world, share the knowledge about battery recycling. It’s the right thing to do and helps keep batteries out of landfills.

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