Discharge fires result in blanket ban on disposal of batteries
Fires at landfills and waste collection points, such as the suspected battery fire at the Tākaka waste transfer station earlier this year, resulted in a ban on batteries in Nelson’s garbage cans.
Batteries will soon be banned in curbside trash cans in Nelson after more than 20 battery fires at the Nelson Landfill in a single year.
Nelson City Council Infrastructure Committee Chairman Brian McGurk said that while it was well known that batteries should not be recycled, “there is growing evidence that batteries should also be kept out of the way. trash cans “.
In a statement, the council said lithium-ion batteries such as those that power smartphones and other electronic devices were “a leading cause of fires in trash cans and recycling trucks and landfills.”
“Batteries can be damaged by falling into garbage cans or by the crushing action of garbage hoppers, and this damage only increases the risk of fire. It is an unacceptable risk for the safety of people.
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Twenty fires were recorded at the York Valley landfill in Nelson over a 12-month period, one battery-related fire was recorded at the materials recovery facility in Richmond and one suspected battery fire at the materials recovery center. Tākaka resources earlier this year.
From the beginning of next month, no items containing a battery will be accepted as waste at the Nelson Waste Collection Center in Tāhunanui. Instead, they must be treated for recycling at the center through the council’s Rethink Waste program or similar programs.
The council said that due to difficulties in identifying whether the batteries were lithium-ion batteries, all single and spare batteries could be dropped off, free of charge, for recycling at the waste collection center, the Nelson Environmental Center or to Nelson City Council customer service. center. This excluded lead acid batteries or large vehicle batteries.
Lithium-ion batteries vary in size and function, such as single-use button cells, rechargeable batteries for cellphones, smartwatches and vapers, or for portable devices such as rechargeable power tools, remote control vehicles or toys. , and electric bikes or scooters.
Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Fenz) reports an increasing trend in lithium-ion battery fires, with a trajectory pointing to 80 per year by 2025.
How to dispose of batteries and electronics in Nelson
- Nelson Environmental Center at 6 Vivian Place, Annesbrook, offers paid recycling of electronic waste. Most of the smaller items are in the $ 10 to $ 20 range, with larger items such as printers up to $ 100. Batteries cost $ 10 per kg. A grant of $ 20 per household per fiscal year is available from Nelson City Council for this service.
- Noel Leeming in Nelson accepts items such as laptops, tablets, monitors, and printers free of charge as part of a national Tech Collect electronic waste recycling program.
- RE: mobile drop boxes can be found at the Nelson City Council Customer Service Center and Elma Turner Library, 2Degrees, Spark and Vodafone retail stores, Resene and Noel Leeming.