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Recycling rule: Tape battery contact points

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Recycling rule: Tape battery contact points

A new Caltrans directive requires recycled batteries to have their connectors covered with tape or placed in individual baggies to avoid accidentally starting a fire.

DENNIS WYATT/The Bulletin


POSTED September 30, 2009 2:14 a.m.
Got adhesive tape?

You’re going to need it to comply with a new state law regarding the recycling of household batteries – the type that power everything from flashlights to toys.

The California Department of Transportation has decreed that those batteries must have their contact points covered with the clear adhesive tape before they are recycled. Why? Two batteries rubbed their contacts together and ignited a fire of a truckload of the batteries that are considered toxic.

So now the batteries have to have tape placed over the contact point before they are recycled. You can’t just toss them into the garbage. It is against the law to bury them due to toxic issues.

Manteca residents have been faithfully following the initial state decree to keep ground water safe by not tossing batteries into garbage to be land filled. Last year, Manteca residents dropped 50,000 pounds of spent batteries off at fire stations, city hall and the refuse division office on Wetmore Street to be recycled.

If you don’t want to tape the contact points you can always place them in sandwich bags.

Manteca recycling coordinator Rexie LeStrange, though, hopes more people opt to tape them as the bags consume a lot more materials plus someone ultimately has to remove the battery when they are taken to the recycling firm.

That is battery as in single. State law prohibits placing two batteries in one baggie at the same time for fear they may ignite a fire.
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