Fire reports were received at Moody Fire Department in Alabama on Black Friday in November. Originating at the Environmental Landfill Inc., a “green waste” landfill, the fire has grown extensively, covering a large suburban area with smoke. Though the landfill is supposed only to accept green or vegetative waste, such as fallen tree limbs or yard debris, unauthorized waste, including scrap tires and appliances, has been reported. As a result, many residents in the area are concerned with what toxins are in the air they may be breathing.
According to al.com, the fire mainly burns underground, spurred by smoke billowing out in seeps and at gaps that keep the flames going. The Moody landfill has been on fire for over a month, generating dozens of complaints as nearby residents are affected by the smoke. To enable more aggressive action in extinguishing the blaze, the St. Clair County Commission has declared a state of emergency, which gives the county more legal authority and financial resources.
Landfill fires can be hazardous at facilities that accept e-waste. Despite the “green waste” only requirements at the Moody landfill, any unauthorized electronic waste could lead to chemical combustions. Most electronics today are made with Lithium-Ion batteries, including some small appliances sometimes found at the Moody landfill.
Lithium-ion batteries present a more dangerous risk for several reasons. First, their explosive nature makes them one of the leading causes of fires at Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs). When damaged, they will combust and cause chemical fires, which are more difficult to extinguish and require unique methods. They can even re-ignite hours or days after being extinguished. Another reason for caution is that LIBs can cause a chain reaction if they are near other lithium batteries. Entire warehouses have been lost due to chain combustions in battery storage facilities, and many have also caused house fires.
For this reason, e-waste of any kind should never be disposed of in landfills, no matter the convenience. End-of-life facilities like HOBI partner with companies looking to retire old IT assets, including computers, tablets, phones, and even appliances, and ensure they are disposed of properly. Proper disposal mitigates potential fire risks at landfills that could be detrimental to the environment and surrounding residents’ health.
With more than 30 years of experience in the industry, HOBI prioritizes client satisfaction and environmental safety. Partnering with an ITAD vendor will help prevent catastrophes such as landfill fires and prevent company and employee data from falling into the wrong hands.
For more information about our ITAD services, call 817-814-2620 or contact HOBI at firstname.lastname@example.org.