Steuben landfill officials urge residents to properly dispose of cell phone batteries

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BATH, NEW YORK (WETM-TV)- The proper disposal of cell phone batteries at landfills is essential for personal and property safety, Steuben County Public Works Environmental Project Coordinator Richard Bills said Friday.

“Lithium batteries in the phones are perfectly safe,” Bills said. “But when they’re improperly disposed of, these batteries end up at the landfill where they can get damaged, they can get punctured, things happen that create heat. Add that to some dry waste and now you have a fire.”

Typically, cell phone vendors and other electronics retailers provide drop-off stations for discarded
batteries according to Bills. The landfill also operates an electronics recycling program for the safe
disposal of batteries, he said.

Bills said the county posts signs reminding people of the hazards of cell phone batteries at the landfill and its transfer stations in Erwin, Hornell, and Wayland. The county landfill also campaigns actively on social media, he said.

“But people don’t know about what they can do to dispose of them, or they don’t think twice and they just toss them in the garbage,” Bills said. “Those batteries may be small, but they can cause a big fire.”

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