Fire hazard posed by e-cigarettes causes Hennepin County to stop some battery recycling

A selection of vape pens on display at the Royal Academy in central London.

Hennepin County says it will no longer collect batteries at some public facilities due to the fire hazard posed by e-cigarettes.

The county said it will continue to accept them at county drop-off facilities in Bloomington and Brooklyn Park, but that vape pens’ batteries have become a fire hazard. Battery collection at community locations like city and county buildings, libraries, schools and community centers will be discontinued.

The county says the e-cig devices heat up when activated and can enflame rechargeable batteries after they are disposed. The culprit on these devices are the push button activators, which can turn on with very little pressure.

Also, removal of the batteries from the vapes can sometimes require tools, so residents often discard them with batteries intact.

Alkaline batteries, like single-use AA and AAA batteries, can still be placed in the trash or recycled at the drop-off facilities.

Button batteries, lithium ion and other rechargeable batteries can only be disposed of at the drop off facilities and cannot be disposed in the trash. If you cannot remove the battery from the device, Hennepin County urges you to bring the entire device to a drop-off facility.