Green Neighbors Program

The Clark County Green Neighbors Program was developed and is maintained by Clark County Solid Waste and Environmental Outreach to assist citizens with developing more sustainable lifestyles and building a strong environmental community in Clark County. Solid waste regional planning and programs are a cooperative effort of Battle Ground, Camas, Clark County, La Center, Ridgefield, Vancouver, Washougal, and Yacolt. Funding for this project provided by a grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology.

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In offering information on the Web, Clark County seeks to balance our requirement for public access with the privacy needs of individual citizens. Information that appears on the Clark County Web site is part of the public record. By law, it is available for public access, whether by telephone request, visiting county offices, or through other means.

This site contains links to other websites. Clark County is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content, accuracy or opinions expressed on such websites, and such websites are not investigated, monitored or checked by us for accuracy or completeness. Inclusion of any linked website on our site does not imply approval or endorsement of the linked website by us.

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Resilient Recycler: Battery Anxiety at MRFs

batteries

"Battery fires an 'existential threat' for industry."


"Lithium-ion batteries exploding from improper disposal."


"Massive fire at recycling facility sparked by lithium-ion battery."

These are just a few headlines from July showing the rising anxiety surrounding battery fires at recycling centers known as Material Recovery Facilities, or MRFs. When batteries turn up at the MRF, they become crushed with the rest of the recyclables, which can start fires.

The lithium-ion battery is most notable for causing MRF fires because it is extremely unstable when damaged, and what better place to get damaged than at a facility that's moving and compacting thousands of pounds of recycling and trash every single day?

The bottom line is that batteries are powerful, and should never be put into your recycling cart. To properly dispose of batteries, and battery containing devices, you must first know what type of battery you have. There are dozens of different types, and knowing what you have does make a difference.

Household batteries

Many types of batteries can be lumped under the "household batteries" category. It includes single-use and rechargeable AA, AAA, C, D, button batteries, hearing aid and watch batteries. Clark County allows residents to recycle their household batteries by taping the ends with duct or packing tape, and placing them in a clear plastic bag on top of your blue recycling cart's lid. The driver will see the batteries and grab them, keeping them separate from the other recyclables.

Lithium-ion batteries

Lithium-ion batteries found in everything from cell phones to hoverboards must be dropped-off at specific recycling outlets. Never put these types of batteries in your garbage or recycling. There are many free public battery collections in Clark County. To find recycling locations, use RecyclingA-Z.com, which is a comprehensive and up-to-date database for recycling in Clark County.

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