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‘Avoid the Spark’ with Proper Lithium Battery Disposal

In this video produced by ABC 7, Michael Finney visits the Marin Household Hazardous Waste Facility in San Rafael (where Mill Valley Refuse customers may take their household hazardous waste for free drop off) and exposes the fire danger posed by lithium batteries.

Most of us have a jar or bag for battery recycling that we fill up and take to our hazardous waste drop off site. That bag usually contains various types of batteries including lithium batteries, which are typically used to power cellphones, cameras, computers and some toys.

What most people don't know is that, in certain circumstances, lithium batteries can pose a fire danger. When they come into contact with metal, they can create sparks -- like a small firecracker that can lead to fire.

What can you do in your home to avoid this fire hazard?

It’s easy to properly store lithium batteries for recycling in a way that’s safe. Simply tape over the positive terminals of lithium batteries with a small piece of electrical, duct, or clear packing tape. Then you can safely add them to your battery collection for recycling as usual.

Luckily, the Marin Household Hazardous Waste Facility is well aware of the dangers and takes every precaution to sort and safely store the batteries it processes.

Watch the full ABC 7 video segment here.