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The original item was published from 4/7/2023 9:06:24 AM to 4/7/2023 9:08:17 AM.

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Posted on: April 7, 2023

[ARCHIVED] SWA Launches “Battery Smart. Fire Smart.” Campaign To Educate on Lithium-Ion Battery Fire Hazards

Fire Hazard. Lithium-ion Batteries. Battery Smart. Fire Smart.

An increasing number of products available to consumers today contain lithium-ion batteries. With the expanding number of batteries in circulation comes an increase in fire risk. Educating the public on the fire hazard and proper disposal of these batteries is key to reducing the prevalence of lithium-ion battery fires, which have become increasingly more common.

Lithium-ion batteries pose a risk to solid waste and recycling infrastructure, those who work in solid waste and recycling facilities, and first responders. Throwing these batteries into a recycling or garbage bin can put property and people’s lives at risk. Fires traced to lithium-ion batteries have been reported at solid waste and recycling facilities nationwide – and are on the rise. Fires have also started in garbage and recycling trucks. Injuries and fatalities have been reported, as well.

When lithium-ion batteries are improperly disposed of, they can become easily damaged as they enter the waste stream. When they’re dropped, scraped, crushed or punctured, the lithium inside becomes exposed. When lithium combines with water, it produces highly flammable hydrogen and lithium hydroxide. This combination alone produces a spark.

When this happens inside a garbage or recycling truck or solid waste facility, the resulting spark can start a fire that has devastating consequences. Because the battery is surrounded by solid waste materials, which serve as fuel, the fire quickly spreads. The fire can get out of control and burn for weeks. A fire of this type would have the potential to critically disrupt the Authority’s solid waste infrastructure, as it has done in other communities.

The disposal process in Palm Beach County is convenient and residents need to be encouraged to properly dispose of these batteries and products containing them. Lithium-ion batteries can be found in the following products (not an exhaustive list):

  • Electronic devices, such as mobile phones, laptops, tablets, computer peripherals, Bluetooth devices and smart wearables
  • Power tools
  • Remote car keys
  • Vaping devices
  • Game controllers
  • Digital cameras
  • Portable power packs
  • Greeting cards
  • Electric toothbrushes
  • Toys
  • Medical equipment
  • Smoke/Fire/Carbon monoxide detectors
  • E-bikes and e-scooters

When consumers are ready to dispose of these products or the batteries within them, they should bring them to one of the Authority’s seven Home Chemical and Recycling Centers throughout the county to be recycled. Most major retailers also accept batteries for free. Consumers should look for collection boxes inside the lobby or near the entrance, or ask an associate for assistance.

You may be wondering about your regular, alkaline batteries (AA, AAA, C, D and 9 volt). Those can be placed into the garbage bin without fear of starting a fire. But any other type of battery (rechargeable, nickel-cadmium, automotive, lithium-ion, lead-acid) should be dropped at one of the Authority’s seven Home Chemical and Recycling Centers.

Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County Home Chemical and Recycling Centers can be found at the following locations (from north county to south county):

  • Jupiter
    North County Transfer Station
    14185 N. Military Trail (SWA Road) in Jupiter
    Monday-Friday: 7 a.m.-5 p.m.
    Saturday: 7 a.m.-3 p.m.


  • West Palm Beach
    Home Chemical and Recycling Center
    6161 N. Jog Road in West Palm Beach
    Monday-Friday: 7 a.m.-5 p.m.
    Saturday: 7 a.m.-5 p.m. 


  • Belle Glade
    Glades Regional Transfer Station
    1701 State Road 15 in Belle Glade
    Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.


  • Royal Palm Beach
    West Central Transfer Station
    9743 Weisman Way in Royal Palm Beach
    Monday-Friday: 7 a.m.-5 p.m.
    Saturday: 7 a.m.-3 p.m.


  • Lantana
    Central County Transfer Station
    1810 Lantana Road in Lantana
    Monday-Friday: 7 a.m.-5 p.m.
    Saturday: 7 a.m.-12 p.m.


  • Delray Beach – West
    Southwest County Transfer Station
    13400 S. State Road 7 in Delray Beach
    Monday-Friday: 7 a.m.-5 p.m.
    Saturday: 7 a.m.-3 p.m.


  • Delray Beach – East
    South County Transfer Station
    1901 SW 4th Ave. in Delray Beach
    Monday-Friday: 7 a.m.-5 p.m.
    Saturday: 7 a.m.-3 p.m.

Commercial quantities of batteries may require special disposal. Businesses should call 561-687-1100 for details on recycling batteries.

Learn more about how to properly dispose of batteries with the following resources:

Remember, pollution prevention starts at home. A full list of household hazardous wastes can be found at or by calling 561-697-2700 or 866-SWA-INFO (toll-free) to learn more about the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County’s Home Chemical and Recycling Centers.


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