The lithium-ion battery is a powerful technology that has transcended into a powerful, small, light and long-lasting tool just over the last few years. Its enhancements have increased human access and mobility, resulting in greater consumption and disposal.

The increase in consumption of lithium-based primary and rechargeable batteries has resulted in a surge of fires within waste management facets. Fire Rover found a 93% increase in waste and recycling facility fires (in U.S. and Canada) in the first four months of 2018. Fires have been reported to occur in trucks, recycling plants, transfer stations, and landfills. When compressed, Li-ion batteries combust into intense flames–putting employee’s lives at stake, creating costly damages to facility equipment, and devastating air quality.

Li-Ion Batteries: Consequences of Improper Disposal

Over the last few years, the California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC) received increased reports of battery induced fires from waste management facilities. CPSC conducted a survey across the state to further understand causation. Of the 26 facilities, 83% reported having at least one fire over the last two years. When asked to identify its source, 65% of the reported fires were due to batteries, 40% of which were identified to be lithium-ion batteries.

Li-Ion Batteries: Consequences of Improper Disposal

An increasing market for lithium-ion batteries is the vape pen market, especially as recreational marijuana sales expand across the state and the product becomes cheaper and easier to manufacture.

Recently, an article on “Disposing of Disposable Vape Pens” was published by Dope Magazine. The article speaks of the environmental consequences of improper disposal of vape pens. Give it a read!

Contrary to the article, however, which did not state at the time of publishing which waste management companies are capable of handling vape pens, GAIACA is your solution for vape pens (both disposable and refillable). Check out our cannabis waste disposal services here and don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly with questions!

Contributed by: Stephani Smith

Stephani is an intern at GAIACA and is currently pursuing her degree in Environmental Studies at CSU Monterey Bay.