A fire broke out in Rapid City, S.D. July 14 evening at a landfill recycling building possibly due to the disposal of flammable materials. In just four hours 40 tons of trash was engulfed by the flames. Thanks to a timely sprinkler system, the building itself never caught on fire and was able to be saved, however, the incident has influenced officials to remind the public about the dangers of flammable materials such as Lithium Ion batteries, hot coals, hot liquids or fireworks being placed in landfills. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined, but the incident follows two lithium ion battery fires reported in a two-week span, and officials have taken the opportunity to remind everyone how common they are.
Materials recovery facilities (MRFs) are one of the most at-risk facilities for battery fires, and many do not realize the dangers of improper disposal of electronics. Most electronics today use Lithium Ion batteries, which are known to cause fires when damaged. If not handled properly by skilled professionals trained in battery safety, battery fires can start a chain reaction and destroy entire buildings with a single ignition.
Battery fires are caused by thermal runaways, which produce enough heat to cause adjacent battery cells to do the same. The heat sparks an ignition which grows each time a batter cell ruptures and releases chemicals. Because LIB fires are chemical reactions, they are much more difficult to extinguish and require special precautions and safety measures in order to contain them.
Electronic waste can be extremely hazardous in general, and proper IT asset disposition is critical to protecting our environment, as well as the health of those living near landfills. IT asset disposition facilities like HOBI collect retired electronics and dispose of them in a safe, environmentally friendly manner. Recycling lithium batteries can also be dangerous, which is why the HOBI team includes professionals trained in safe battery removal and disposal to help mitigate any potential fire risks.
For more information about our ITAD services call 8170814-2620, or contact HOBI at firstname.lastname@example.org.