GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — After multiple battery fires, the Kent County Department of Public Works is asking the public to drop off their lithium-ion batteries at designated disposal sites rather than throwing them in the trash.
Lithium-ion batteries are frequently found in cell phones, electric toothbrushes, vaping devices and electric scooters, the department said.
If mixed with regular trash, these batteries can explode when they are crushed at the county’s facilities.
The Kent County Department of Public Works said it has had several lithium-ion battery fires in the past month, including one caused by an electric scooter at its South Kent Recycling and Waste Center.
Although each fire was safely extinguished, the department asked the public to be more careful about what they throw away.
Rather than putting lithium-ion batteries in the trash, residents should take them for free to one of five SafeChem disposal sites located across Kent County, the department said. These sites are located in Grand Rapids, Kentwood, Rockford, Wyoming and Byron Center.