Batteries in bins can pose serious risk
Published: 04 Nov 2021 9:37am
Wagga Wagga City Council is reminding the community about the dangers of disposing of old batteries in the city’s waste bins and the fire risks this can cause at the Gregadoo Waste Management Centre.
Council’s Manager Council Business Darryl Woods has stressed the need to properly dispose of all types of batteries while highlighting the potential impact that ignited batteries can have at the waste centre.
“When waste is placed into landfill it is moved and compacted by heavy machinery,” Mr Woods explained.
“If batteries are in the waste this poses a real threat of fire as they can be broken in the compaction process
“New Li-ion batteries bring the positive and negative plates into contact when they are broken. This creates heating, up to the point of ignition, and then we have the potential for bigger problems.”
Mr Woods said staff at the waste centre have also detected car batteries coming through with the red lid bins’ waste.
Gas bottles and other dangerous materials such as fireworks and flares are rare, but have also been put in red lid bins for collection.
“We’re urging people to be mindful of that and to make the effort to dispose of these items in the correct manner because it can lead to a greater risk of property damage and the health and safety of our people who are managing the waste,” Mr Woods said.
Mr Woods said a recent fire at a landfill site at Gregadoo was the result of batteries from laptops or mobile phones being placed into general waste for disposal.
“The fire was quickly dealt with but as we move into the hotter month the potential for fire increases significantly,” Mr Woods said.
“Please be aware of what you’re putting in the bins, particularly when it comes to these types of batteries.
“There are a number of ways to dispose of them, so please be mindful of this. The bushfire danger period started in our LGA on 1 November so there is now a heightened risk if a fire should start.”
Council provides a free domestic battery collection station as part of the Community Recycling Centre (CRC) located at the Civic Centre. The main CRC facility at Gregadoo Waste Management Centre also takes all types of batteries for free.
Other items which can be dropped at a CRC include gas bottles, paint, fire extinguishers, motor oils, smoke detectors and fluoro globes and tubes.
For more information about the CRC and Council waste disposal tips go to wagga.nsw.gov.au/waste