Batteries are a prime example of something that should always be properly recycled – not discarded with household waste.

Most batteries contain harmful heavy metals like lead, mercury, copper, zinc, and lithium, to name a few. These elements are extremely hazardous to the environment and human health and can contaminate the ground and water sources if thrown into the landfill.

Lithium batteries are especially hazardous. They are used to power cell phones, laptops, and power tools, and are extremely unstable. They can ignite if they are punctured or crushed causing a fire not only in the landfill or transfer station, but also in the collection truck that hauls it for disposal.

In the event of a fire at a waste facility, the root cause is often items that don’t belong in the landfill – like batteries – leading to spontaneous combustion.

The best defense against the hazards of batteries is to ensure they are properly disposed of, avoiding potential fires and other risks.

Lithium batteries can catch fire when damaged.

There are several options to dispose used batteries safely and properly:

• Batteries of all sizes are collected in the recycling area at the Clairmont Centre for Recycling and Waste Management

• Some stores, such as Canadian Tire and Home Depot, will accept used batteries

Information provided by the County of Grande Prairie