Trashed lithium-ion batteries cause 3 garbage truck fires

A company in Calf. payed $25K for fires caused by Lith batts.
I’ve always suspected these type of fires would increase as more devices that use Lithium batts are discarded by consumers without thought/knowledge to potential hazards.
Video at End - Workers fussing with the fire - lord knows what they are sucking into their lungs…
All the Best,

From arstechnica:
“A firm that handles returned Amazon electronics has agreed to pay a $25,000 fine after lithium-ion batteries it threw away caused at least three different garbage truck fires.

iDiskk, LLC, based in San Jose, California, agreed to a settlement with the district attorney of Santa Clara County in late November over civil charges regarding improper waste disposal, as noted by E-Scrap News. The company, according to the district attorney’s office, “dismantles, recycles, and disposes of consumer computer electronics that are returned through Amazon, some of which contain lithium-ion batteries.”

On three different dates in 2021—September 22, October 6, and October 13—trucks picked up residential waste from iDiskk’s office address in Campbell, California. A Google Street View look at the address shows a home with a driveway and garage on a tree-lined street. Dozens of lithium-ion batteries were included with typical recycling materials, allowing them to be crushed and compressed with other waste. “In each case, the … garbage truck driver ejected the truck’s load,” the initial complaint reads, and the cause was found to be batteries.

Although nobody was hurt in the fires, the October 13 fire, while being dumped into the street to avoid a vehicle fire, caused the raised bin to catch on overhead utility lines. The attached utility pole broke and fell to the ground. “These fires are incredibly dangerous to the safety of the garbage truck drivers and first responders who must then act quickly to deal with the fire,” said Deputy District Attorney Christopher Judge in a press release after the settlement.

Yes, indeed Li-batteries a hazard.

However, this story is weird…. What is “residential waste from iDiskk’s office address”

This sounds like a company tried to dodge recycling the batteries properly, rather than regular consumers?

Both consumers and companies need educating and to have facilities to easily dispose of these things, else this will keep happening.

That reminds me of this training film.

Or what about the countless stories of Teslas catching fire and fire department cannot extinguish as it keeps reigniting.

Green energy my ass.

gravelmonkey nails it. An ignorant public, and a doubly ignorant beauracracy. Establish a readily available, viable, safe, and effective disposal strategy for li-ion cells and incidents like this can be avoided.

The fact that this is a company in California makes it even more ridiculous. Don’t they have a better recycling program than other states?

One of my hobby chargers has a Destroy Mode — It drains cells to 0v —- This is a 100 times safer when discarding cells

From the referenced article…. “…trucks picked up residential waste from iDiskk’s office address in Campbell, California. A Google Street View look at the address shows a home with a driveway and garage on a tree-lined street….”

There are many people in the US who operate small businesses from their home. This sounds like someone operating out of their home, garage, whatever. There are rules that are supposed to be followed for home occupations, who knows how many were followed. Or not followed. In any event it would seem they were being irresponsible in the way they handled trash.

@zoulas, I am sorry, but what?

Are you aware that gasoline cars catch on fire an order of magnitude more often than electric cars?

You’re on an enthusiast flashlight forum. You should honestly be much more informed on this. Just disappointing honestly.

Are you aware that there are more gasoline cars than electric cars? You are a flashlight enthusiast, you should know that. This is disappointing to me.

You will find in life that if you are a jerk to other people, they too will treat you like a jerk.

That is somewhat misleading a bit Blue. Gasoline fires are put out so much easier than Li-Ion powered fire. Unless we equip our fire services with new expensive equipment. That just wouldn’t be happening out here where I live. Our fire stations aren’t even manned until an alarm goes off. Then they drive to the station and fire up the truck. LOL

All products have a small percentage of QC defects. Some of them leading to anything from light damage to damn near destructive. Ever see old old videos of steam cars and trains blowing up? It’s a sight to see.

I wouldn’t own an electric car for a few reasons. Price. No infrastructure for proper charging out here where I live and really for most of the US unless it’s a decent sized city. Range and range anxiety, I live in the sticks and need to be able to fill up quickly, I don’t drive anywhere near where quick charging is available. Price of battery replacement. I tend to keep my vehicles for quite some time so I would have to buy a new pack at some point.

I don’t worry too much about the danger part of it. Driving down the road is dangerous enough. I’d most likely die in a traffic accident before a few batteries killed me. I don’t take a dump on electric cars. They are great for some people, not so great for others. It would take a whole bunch of money and time to get us “fly over states” ready for electric cars.

It also seems that whatever kind of car you want there is some kind of mining, refining, drilling, waste…………etc, that are all just horrible for the environment. We can’t fix the planet. We might prolong it for a bit but, we can’t fix it and, it will fix itself. It will get rid of the bad and start over. It’s done it before us and it will continue when we are gone. The first thing it will get rid of is us. It cares nothing for us. Too many people and last time I checked the population wasn’t getting smaller.

E-cigs ?

In the case of gasoline cars burning when parked, isn’t it usually the electrical system causing the fire, not the gasoline?

So you are saying that without the gasoline the fire would still happen?

Trying to understand your logic.

When it comes to a parked car suddenly catching fire for no reason, I thought it was the electrical system sparking somewhere.

I know gasoline can ignite when it escapes and is exposed to sparks or a source of ignition like in a crash or fuel leaking on a hot engine, etc., but to just start burning when parked in your drive overnight, I think electrical system.

Why don’t we all leave the gas car vs electric car part alone to die off on its own before this starts to sound like an argument. (Rule #4)

In addition: Not sure how your local grids are; I’ve read today ours aren’t anywhere near capable of delivering enough electricity to power an amout of E-cars you’d expect when most people made the transition at the same time, and that this won’t change in the near future. That’s the end of it I guess.

Are you kidding, in NY they tell people to conserve AC in the summer.

I can see when they start telling people to not charge their cars to conserve power.

Yes, so it’s commercial waste from a residential premises… I’m surprised the fine is not higher.

On the topic of e-waste disposal, in large supermarkets in the UK we have bins for ‘battery’ recycling, I think it’s an EU rule that means large retailers who sell cells, must provide facilities for disposal. I’ve not checked but I don’t think Li-ion is supposed to go in… With the aim of reducing these fires, what countries have been most proactive in offering easy lithium battery disposal ?

@zoulas I forgot to mention one important factor: there are far more gasoline car fires than electric car fires per capita.

That means for the same number of cars on the road, there will be far more gasoline fires than EV fires.

US NFPA study on the subject: