Published On: Sun, Apr 18th, 2021

Rechargeable Batteries Can Potentially Cause Fires if Deposited in Recycling Bins or the Trash

Throwing rechargeable batteries in a recycling bin or the garbage can put property and people’s lives at risk. In fact, fires traced to lithium ion batteries have been reported at recycling facilities nationwide, and fires have started in the garbage trucks that go to your home. 

These batteries power our cell phones, cordless power tools and even hover boards. According to a recent Resource Recycling article, they have components that are flammable. The battery heats up when shorted or damaged, and when that happens, they produce oxygen, which facilitates combustion. 

“Production of these batteries continues to increase,” said SWA Director of Facility Contract Operations Ray Schauer. “The fact that we are experiencing an increase in fires at our facilities is cause for serious concern.” 

Fortunately, Palm Beach County residents can dispose of rechargeable (non-alkaline) batteries at any of the SWA’s seven Home Chemical and Recycling Centers

Regular alkaline batteries (AA, AAA, C, D and 9 volt) can be placed in your garbage. But any other type of battery (rechargeable, nickel-cadmium, automotive, lithium-ion, cell phone, lead-acid) should be dropped at one of the Home Chemical and Recycling Centers

The SWA’s locations include (from north county to south county): 

·       Jupiter North County Transfer Station 
14185 N. Military Trail (SWA Road) in Jupiter 
Monday – Friday: 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Saturday: 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. 

·       West Palm Beach Home Chemical and Recycling Center 
6161 N. Jog Road in West Palm Beach 
Monday – Friday: 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Saturday: 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.  

·       Belle Glade Glades Regional Transfer Station 
1701 State Road 15 in Belle Glade 
Monday – Friday: 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. 

·       Royal Palm Beach West Central Transfer Station 
9743 Weisman Way (formerly Process Way) in Royal Palm Beach 
Monday – Friday: 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Saturday: 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. 

·       Lantana Central County Transfer Station 
1810 Lantana Road in Lantana 
Monday – Friday: 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Saturday: 7 a.m. – 12 p.m. 

·       Delray Beach – West Southwest County Transfer Station 
13400 S. State Road 7 in Delray Beach 
Monday – Friday: 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Saturday: 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. 

·       Delray Beach – East  South County Transfer Station 
1901 SW 4th Ave. in Delray Beach 
Monday – Friday: 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Saturday: 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. 

In addition to these locations, many major retailers will recycle batteries for free, and have drop-off containers placed near the front of their stores.  

“We’re asking all Palm Beach County residents to please never throw rechargeable batteries either in the garbage or your recycling bin,” said Palm Beach County Commissioner and Board Chair of the SWA Board, Robert S Weinroth. “The best place for Palm Beach County residents to take their old batteries is to one of the SWA’s Home Chemical and Recycling Centers.”

·       Watch the SWA’s lithium ion battery commercial –  

·       Check out the SWA’s video about the dangers of putting combustible items in your trash – 

·       Review the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Homeowner’s Guide To Battery Recycling And Disposal –  

Commercial quantities of batteries may require special disposal. Call 561-687-1100 for details on recycling batteries from your business. 

In the last fiscal year, Palm Beach County residents recycled: 

·       57,460 pounds of lead acid batteries 

·       6,896 pounds of mixed batteries 

·       3,400 pounds of ni-cad batteries and 

·       2,280 pounds of lithium ion batteries 

at the SWA’s Home Chemical and Recycling Centers. Each year, the SWA’s Home Chemical and Recycling Centers either recycles or safely disposes of more than 4M pounds of household hazardous wastes. 

Remember, pollution prevention starts at home. A full list of household hazardous wastes can be found at or call 561-697-2700 or 866-SWA-INFO (toll-free) to learn more about the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County’s Home Chemical and Recycling Centers. 

About the Author

Robert Weinroth - Robert Weinroth is a 27 year resident of Boca Raton where he is an attorney, businessman, former member of the City Council (where he served for four years) and currently serves as an elected member of the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners. Commissioner Weinroth went to Boston’s Northeastern University where he earned a BSBA in Management. He went on to earn his Juris Doctor at New England School of Law. He is admitted to practice law in Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey and the Supreme Court of the United States. Weinroth served as president and general counsel of Freedom Medical Services Inc, an accredited medical supply company in Boca Raton. FREEDOMED® represented the realization of an entrepreneurial dream. Weinroth, and his wife Pamela operated the company for 16 years, eventually selling the business in 2016. Weinroth takes great pride in his past work as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem for the 15th Judicial Circuit, advocating for the needs of abused and neglected children deemed dependent by the Court. After serving on multiple community boards and committees, Weinroth was elected to the Boca Raton City Council in 2014. During his tenure, he served as CRA Vice-chair and Deputy Mayor and was appointed to a number of county boards including the Boca Raton Airport Authority, the Palm Tran Service Board, the Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency, the Treasure Coast Planning Council and was elected a board member of the Palm Beach County League of Cities. Commissioner Weinroth serves as County Vice-Mayor and has been appointed Chair of the Solid Waste Authority, a board member of the PBC Transportation Planning Agency, and alternate representative on the Treasure Coast Planning Agency and several other county and regional boards. Robert, Pamela and their two dogs, Sierra and Siggy, are proud to call Boca Raton home.

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