Recycling workers warn of dangerous item you shouldn’t throw in your recycling bin

MADISON, Wis. — As we get new power tools, electronics, and toys this week, be careful what you do with the old ones.

A local recycling company has a warning about one item in particular that could be dangerous. Lithium ion batteries, if placed in a residential recycling bin, can end up at sorting facilities and cause fires.

“A lithium ion fire is very fast and very hot. In a facility like this where they’re paper and other combustibles a fire can spread incredibly fast,” said John Schueler, a risk and safety manager with Pellitteri.

Lithium ion batteries can be in phones, laptops, and power tools. As the batteries become more widely used, recyclers are seeing more of them end up in their sorting facilities, which can get caught in their machines and lead to serious damage or injure their employees.

To recycle lithium ion batteries or electronics Schueler wants people to take them to reputable recycling locations, such as Batteries+, Home Depot, Best Buy or a drop of site at your local municipality.