The Retrofit Companies Blog

Lithium Batteries Are a Fire Hazard


lithium ion battery

 

Is your business in need of a recycling program for lithium batteries? These popular batteries pose dangerous risks and are quickly piling up into hazardous, potentially explosive scenarios in nearly every business you can imagine.

 

Do I have Lithium Batteries?

Lithium batteries have become common in everyday items, powering our computers, cell phones, pace makers, clocks and even our vehicles; it is more likely than not that you have lithium ion batteries in your facility. They have become the new normal, however many are unaware of the risks that they pose and how to properly dispose of them. With such a large volume of these batteries everywhere, it is vitally important that you and your business are aware of how to properly handle lithium batteries.

 

Lithium Ion Batteries (1)Lithium Batteries are Commonly Found In:
 
  • Digital Cameras
  • Clocks
  • Computers
  • Cell Phones
  • Pace Makers
  • Watches
  • Thermometers
  • Laser Pointers
  • MP3 players
  • Calculators
  • Computer backup systems

 

Why are Lithium Batteries Dangerous?

These batteries are more likely to catch fire than other rechargeable batteries due to their chemistry, containing a flammable electrolyte. These batteries are also pressurized and pack more energy into a small space, causing them to be more popular but also more dangerous.

 

If the batteries have a flaw, are damaged, overcharged, packed too closely together or are exposed to high temperatures they can overheat. This can be a very dangerous situation where uncontrolled positive feedback can cause other nearby batteries to overheat, triggering a domino effect of what is known as "thermal runaway." 

 

How do I Properly dispose of them?

To avoid dangerous situations with your lithium batteries, be sure to follow proper disposal guidelines. For full details and up to date information on lithium battery regulations please visit the eCFR - Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. 

 lithium ion batteries

 

TRC can assist with properly disposing of your lithium ion batteries. Please click below to contact one of our team members and they will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Free Hazardous Waste Consultation

 

Aerosol Can Recycling Process

aerosol-recycling-process.jpg 

Aerosol can disposal has recently undergone some changes in Minnesota and The Retrofit Companies has designed a program for Minnesota businesses to take advantage of these new regulations. Under this program TRC accepts waste aerosols for recycling or disposal on our Universal Waste Bill of Lading. Aerosols may be packaged into any of our UN-rated shipping containers and picked up on our truck with your other universal wastes. No additional paperwork is required.

Aerosols are shipped to our Licensed Universal Waste Collection Facility in Little Canada, MN for additional sorting/processing. Waste aerosols are then shipped to our partner disposal facility where they are fully drained. Finally, the drained liquids and gases are blended into fuel or incinerated and the empty cans are recycled as scrap metal. In essence this process is converting the waste into heat energy.

Under the new regulations, Minnesota businesses will no longer be allowed to depressurize aerosols at their facility unless they fully capture all of the gas and liquid inside. Previously many business owners were using a depressurizing system which only filtered the escaping gases. These gases were then being released into our atmosphere. Under our program all the contents of each aerosol are captured, preventing any release to the atmosphere.

For questions about this process or how to get started with aerosol can recycling, please contact our Haz Team today.

If you are ready for a pick up at your Minnesota business:

Schedule a pick up for your aerosol waste

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