Battery causes another small fire at dump

| 22/02/2021 | 7 Comments

(CNS): Another small fire at the George Town dump last week was caused by a phone battery, officials said. Fortunately, this time the smoldering battery was spotted by the Department of Environmental Health team, who managed to put the fire out before it became a dangerous blaze. Officials said that this is the third incident so far this year in which a fire at the dump was linked to a smoldering battery, explaining that when batteries are placed in general waste and they move around in large trucks or are pushed around in the landfill, they can puncture and ignite a fire.

“Lithium ion batteries are often the cause of fires in landfills and other waste handling facilities. It is not always easy to know what each type of battery is called so we have come up with a guide we hope will help the community, ” said Michael Haworth, DEH Assistant Director – Solid Waste.

KNOW your BATTERIES – WHERE and HOW to SAFELY Dispose and Recycle

“Although we use batteries in everyday items, we rarely think of them as a hazard as they are powering our smartphones, laptops, and watches, etc. Yet we must be mindful of the hidden dangers,” he added.

Given the growing problem of waste batteries, the DEH is asking people to dispose of their batteries in the recycling tubes found across the Cayman Islands at supermarkets and other commercial locations and not in their regular garbage. There are more than 50 recycling drop-off points for small batteries throughout the islands, Haworth noted.

“It would be great to see the entire community recycling all their batteries,” he said. “We appreciate that there can be confusion in the general public around how to properly dispose of batteries, but we are encouraged so many people want to know how to dispose of their batteries correctly and safely.”

The batteries that can be dropped off in the recycling tubes are:

  • Nickel Cadmium batteries
  • Nickel metal hydride batteries
  • Lithium ion batteries (most found catching fire in the landfill)
  • Alkaline
  • Zinc carbon
  • Lithium
  • Mercury oxide
  • Zinc air
  • Silver oxide

Large lithium ion batteries which are used in electric cars should be delivered to DEH following consultation with them. Car and truck batteries should be delivered to the landfill 24 hour drop off on Grand Cayman or at the Cayman Brac landfill during our opening hours.

For more on recycling visit the DEH website.

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Category: environmental health, Health

Comments (7)

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  1. anon says:

    As the Coastguard recruits have recd fire dept training but cannot yet be coastguards, why not station them at the dump to put out these recurring fires?.

  2. Anonymous says:

    DEH = Fail

    Lack of education and places to safely deposit batteries.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Oh yes, it’s been a week since the last fire so right on time.

  4. White Suga says:

    No plan for Alden Rinky dink government just import more polluters with their anti environment lifestyle.Stop the damage to environment by Removing Alden government of waste more and pollute more @$$wip@$ who talks save the environment but couldn’t give a $#!& about us or the island for that matter. Development under and above the table fees now their personal financial pillar propping up their deluded dreams. Show Alden and gang your disapproval of his fees scam on 14 th April 2021. Vote out Kurt’s access to our government resources too !

  5. Anonymous says:

    I call BS!

  6. Anonymous says:

    People will drop off batteries if they make it convenient

    • Anonymous says:

      EXACTLY! I recycle the regular batteries at the supermarket but in order to do these others DOE or whoever is responsible for this has to find à way to make it easy for use to do so otherwise it will keep happening. There are still MANY, I would even say the majority of the population who don’t bother recycling anything at all. You can tell by there garbage cans overflowing weekly and the fact that cleaners have very little idea about recycling.

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