Smart Environmental narrowly avoids another fire
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Posted October 17, 2019
Here’s a great example showing why it is so important to dispose of batteries properly.
Smart Environmental’s Kopu Recycling Plant has already had two large fires, the most recent in March 2018 caused by lithium batteries. Lithium batteries can start fires when they are compacted or crushed and have become a recyclers nightmare.
Someone discarding a laptop in their recycling bin that was taken to the Kopu plant caused a dangerous situation for staff.
The laptop ended up on the floor of the plant when recycling bins were tipped out. Not realising it was there the laptop was run over by a forklift operator working at the plant causing the lithium battery inside the battery to explode and catch fire.
Luckily, the forklift operator noticed the fire and acted immediately, transporting the burning laptop out of the recycling plant where it was hosed down with water.
Lithium based batteries should not be disposed of along with general waste since they can become physically damaged and cause fires in skips, waste collection vehicles, and at waste collection depots!
Photo credit: Smart Environmental