Cell Phones Thrown In The Trash Are Exploding In Garbage Trucks And Dumps

Cell Phones Thrown In The Trash Are Exploding In Garbage Trucks And Dumps
Source: Attero Recycling

With the rate at which new mobile devices are being introduced into the market, it has become a frequent activity for us to upgrade from old phones to the new introductions in the market.

Now, sometimes, it becomes a difficult task determining how best to deal with the old devices. Some people keep these devices at home while some others go ahead to dash the phones out. However, it is advised to never throw these phones away, especially not in garbage trucks and dumps.

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National recycling program Call2Recycle has reported that 65% of waste facility fires in California in 2017 were from lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries in discarded cell phones. The bad thing about such fires is that one single exploded battery can start a chain reaction, leading to massive fires that may do some real damage.

According to USA Today, the issue of exploding batteries has become so serious that California has launched an awareness campaign advising phone owners to dispose of their old phones properly, keeping them out of the trash.

A five-alarm fire at a recycling facility in Queens, New York back in March was caused by a Li-ion battery that had not been disposed of properly. For two days, the fire raged. The smoke blowing from the facility led to the temporary closure of four branches of the Long Island Rail Road.

Also, last December, there was a fire at the Ecomaine facility in Portland.

So, to avoid this, you are advised not to casually dispose of your old phone the next time you upgrade, but rather to take advantage of recycling programs in your area. USA Today has pointed out that Li-ion batteries can be recycled nationally at Home Depot, Lowes, and Best Buy Stores.

If you decide to put it in your recycling bin, ensure that you put it in a Ziploc bag or wrap it in a plastic bag first.

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How do you dispose of your old phones? Let us know in the Comments Section below.



Vincent is an Electrical Engineer by profession, and a blogger by interest. He has a special interest in smartphones, hence this website. When Vincent is not blogging, he spends his time reading, seeing movies, or playing mobile games.

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