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Batteries Bring Blaze Concerns

How to properly dispose of batteries

MESA COUNTY, Colo. - Fires have burned thousands of acres across our beautiful state, and the last thing we want to do is add to that. Surprisingly, sparks can start with the simple things, like what we throw away.

There have been two fires at the Mesa County landfill so far this year, both because of batteries.

Batteries of all different shapes and sizes can start a fire when they are pushed together, like at a landfill or recycling center. "Different ends knocking, you have a whole bunch of batteries sitting around, and then you apply heat to it or they're compressed, it could start a fire," said Hope Petrie, the hazardous materials manager at the Mesa County Landfill.

Those with Curbside Recycling Indefinitely said they have seen an increase of batteries mixed in with the recyclables. "We're seeing an uptick in batteries coming through our processing facility, especially lithium-ion batteries," said Merissa Snyder from Curbside Recycling Indefinitely.

Snyder added that recycling batteries can be confusing. "Most of them, especially the rechargeable batteries, they do have a recycling symbol on them. They are technically recyclable, but they need to be taken to a specialty recycler, like Batteries Plus Bulbs or the Hazardous Waste Facility," said Snyder.

You can recycle batteries by taking them to the Mesa County Landfill's Hazardous Waste Facility, which is free for Mesa County residents. They are open Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Best Buy will take rechargeable batteries. Batteries Plus Bulbs will also take certain kinds.

If you are confused about which places take what batteries, just give them a call. Batteries may not take up too much space, but they can cause a huge problem.

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