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County reminding residents about dangers of improperly disposing of batteries

The County of Grande Prairie is reminding residents batteries, especially lithium batteries, should be recycled instead of being put out with the trash.

According to social media a post from the county, lithium batteries when improperly disposed can catch on fire if crushed or punctured, making causing a potential hazard at the landfill or transfer station, and the collection truck or vehicle bringing garbage to the facility. Lithium batteries are used in several everyday items including cell phones, laptops, and power tools. According to the county, fires at waste facilities are usually caused by items, like batteries, which do not belong in regular garbage and combust spontaneously.

Lithium batteries are not the only batteries the county says should be kept out of household waste. According to the county, most other batteries also should be kept out because of the harmful metals they contain. Included in these metals are mercury, copper and zinc. Throwing batteries with these metals in regular trash is said to be damaging to the environment because it can contaminate the ground and water sources around the landfill.

The county suggests batteries can be taken to the recycling area at the Clairmont Centre for Recycling and Waste Management. All sizes of batteries are collected and disposed of properly. Some hardware stores in the region also will accept used batteries and dispose of them properly.

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