We’ve had some well-meaning customers putting old lithium batteries in the shredding bin and our response is…PLEASE DON’T! Mixing your paper with a lithium battery spells a fire hazard not only for your office, but for your secure recycling experts at SecurShred.
While lithium batteries in general are very safe, improper disposal can lead to serious injury if not properly recycled.
Danger! Please don’t put your batteries in with the paper shredding
What Makes a Lithium Battery Catch Fire and Explode?
While lithium is really great at storing energy to power your laptop, smartphone or tablet, it trickles this power to keep your smart device happily humming along. When it’s released all at once, that’s where you can spark an explosion. Shredding opens the casing and exposes the flammable materials that can easily ignite.
Other factors include:
- Bad Product Design: The Galaxy Note 7 was poorly designed due to lack of space between the electrodes and the separator in the battery.
- External Factors: Extreme heat (such as leaving your laptop in a hot car or out in the sun in your recycling bin) have also been known to explode.
How to Dispose of a Lithium Battery Safely
- Separate: Keep these separate from your other recyclables in a non-flammable container.
- Notify: Let SecurShred or other recycler know that you have lithium batteries so they can be recycled properly and separately from other materials.
- Recycle: SecurShred can collect and recycle lithium ion batteries during normal shredding pick-ups. Or, you can bring your lithium batteries to a recycling station that accepts lithium batteries.