Only YOU Can Prevent Battery Fires

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Battery fires are a serious and increasingly common issue for trucking companies. Paul Zambrotta explores why this is happening, and what you can do to help prevent future incidents.

This is an incredibly important issue, and we’re going to cut right to the chase: Please do not throw out batteries in the trash or your recycling. This includes cell phones, laptops, car batteries, and rechargeable Christmas electronic toys. Instead, bring them back to the retailer you purchased them from, or contact vendors like Call2Recycle to find a drop-off location near you.


Over the past few years, waste management facilities have seen a dramatic rise in fires. Many of the fires are caused by rechargeable batteries, primarily Lithium-Ion batteries (LIBs) but also Nickel Cadmium batteries (NiCad). These batteries are common and can be found in most modern technology. Cell phones, laptops, e-cigarettes, headphones, hoverboards, and lighting systems all use Lithium-Ion batteries. If it’s electronic and can be recharged, it probably has a LIB or a NiCad.

This is a national problem. One report found that 64 waste handling facilities experienced over 245 fires from 2013-2017, though the actual number is much higher. The study only pulled from fires that made the local news reports. These fires occurred across 28 states, with materials recovery facilities (MRFs) taking the brunt of the damage. Fires can range from harmless (workers are often able to extinguish them if caught quickly) to deadly. Most cases lead to interruptions in work, equipment damage, and service delays.

Boro-Wide has experienced 6 fires in our trucks over the past 6 months. Our workers were able to catch and put them out before any serious damage was done. This will keep happening unless serious changes are made to battery recycling habits and education. Lithium-Ion batteries must be returned to stores that sell electronics like Best Buy, and Staples, or shipped through services like Call2Recycle.

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Joining forces to bring you the best in waste management

We’re excited to announce a strategic partnership between Mr. T Carting and Boro-Wide, uniting two leaders in waste management to improve your service. Our current payment systems will remain separate for ease of use, with a joint portal planned for 2024.

Your trust is our priority, and we’re dedicated to a smooth transition. For any questions, our customer support team is here to assist. Thank you for your continued support in this new chapter!

Queens Central Commercial Waste Zone starts September 3rd. Current customers will receive no service interruptions.