The Richland landfill has had several fires in the past year, all started the same way.
It’s what people are putting in their trash cans that’s causing the problem — used lithium-ion batteries, the batteries used in rechargeable electronic devices like cellphones, power tools and laptops, according to Richland city.
They end up at the Horn Rapids Landfill and can cause fires under the right conditions.
The metal terminals may touch something else that’s metallic and create an electrical charge and spark. Or the battery case becomes damaged and explodes.
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The batteries should be disposed of at recycling collection containers at Home Depot, Lowes, Best Buy, Batteries Plus Bulbs or Tri-City Battery.
Put them in a plastic bag or cover their terminals electrical or duct tape.
They also can be dropped on at Benton County household hazardous waste collection events.
The next events are March 2 at 102808 Wiser Parkway in southwest Kennewick and April 6 at the Benton County Fairgrounds in Kennewick.