Minneapolis ends battery recycling in residential collection over fire concerns

Minneapolis officials announced Tuesday that batteries will no longer be allowed in recycling picked up from residential properties due to concerns they could start fires. 

Rechargeable batteries, lithium batteries and items containing batteries such as electronic cigarettes and cell phones are banned from all garbage and recycling carts, the city’s solid waste and recycling office said. 

Alkaline batteries, including single-use AA and AAA batteries, can go into the garbage, however. 

The move comes not long after Hennepin County ended battery recycling at community locations such as libraries, schools and community centers after a vaping device caused a fire at one of its community drop-off locations. 

Officials said lithium batteries have been responsible for fires in collection vehicles, drop-off programs and disposal facilities around the country. 

Hennepin County will accept batteries at its permanent drop-off locations in Bloomington and Brooklyn Park as well as at its hazardous waste drop-off events in Minneapolis in the spring, summer and fall.