Residents have new, safe way to get rid of old lithium-ion batteries

A new pilot program aims to make getting rid of old lithium-ion batteries easier and safer in greater Cincinnati.

The effort is a collaboration between Rumpke Waste & Recycling and Cincinnati Recycling & Reuse Hub. As part of the program, the organizations put collection bins at fire stations throughout Hamilton County.

Cincinnati Fire Department truck parked at a fire station.
The lithium-ion battery program plans to expand in the future.

Jeff Snyder, director of recycling for Rumpke, noted lithium-ion batteries can cause fires. His organization experiences fires in its collection vehicles and facilities every year because of mishandled batteries placed in trash or recycling containers.

“Lithium-ion batteries don’t belong in curbside containers – and most people don’t know how to properly handle them,” he said.

The pilot is starting with five sites: 

  • Cincinnati Fire Department – Hyde Park Station No. 46, 2731 Erie Ave.
  • Cincinnati Fire Department – Lunken Station No. 18, 478 Wilmer Ave.
  • St. Bernard Fire Department Station No. 91, 4200 Vine St.
  • Colerain Township Fire Department Station No. 25, 3251 Springdale Rd.
  • Green Township Fire Department Station No. 53, 6303 Harrison Ave.

“Having drop off centers for batteries at the fire stations will make it convenient for residents to participate as well as help residents associate the issue with fires occurring from  improper disposal with the solution,” said Colleen McSwiggin, executive director of Cincinnati Recycling & Reuse Hub.

The plan is to expand the pilot to more fire stations in the future, McSwiggin said. But in the meantime, residents can also check with their garbage or recycling company for other safe disposal methods.

The launch of the battery collection program comes on the heels of the annual Safety Stand Down week.

This year’s theme was “Lithium-Ion Batteries: Are You Ready?” It focused on the dangers posed by lithium batteries if not handled in the right way.

Lithium-ion batteries are common and found in many everyday items. They’re found in things ranging from laptops and cellphones to lawn equipment and power tools. They’re even found in toys and birthday cards, said Colerain Fire Chief Allen Walls.

“As the use of lithium-ion batteries continues to grow, so does the risk for potential fires,” he added. “Properly disposing of these batteries will help mitigate that potential risk for fire and injuries in every home.”

Discover more from Movers & Makers

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.