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Common type of battery a fire hazard; handle it carefully

We’d like to use this space today to underscore a public advisement local landfill officials made last week concerning fire hazards.

The notice related to a blaze that took place at the Marquette County Landfill in early February, when a small number of batteries inappropriately deposited in the waste stream caught fire.

Specifically, the batteries were lithium-ion batteries, a modern-type of battery but one that is a fire hazard of they are broken open– which is what happened in early February, said Marquette County Solid Waste Management Authority Director of Operations Brad Austin.

“On Feb. 3, 2021, one of our landfill operators identified a bag of waste that was on fire while processing a load of solid waste. The load was from a nursing home delivered via a private hauler. Upon investigation, a bag of waste within the load ignited when ran over by the landfill compactor,” he said for a Mining Journal story on the issue.

The bag contained four lithium-ion batteries, typically found in cell phones, laptops, E-cigarettes, scooters, smoke alarms, toys and some vehicles.

Fortunately, no one was hurt and no equipment damaged in the fire.

“The authority offers recycling options for all battery types, including lithium-ion, through our household hazardous waste (HHW) program. In addition, we offer a residential e-waste drop off. We accept these items year-round,” he said.

For more information on safe recycling and solid waste procedures, visit recycle906.com or call MCSWMA at 906-249-4125 with any questions.

We hope residents investigate these easy preventive measures.

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