There are more than 35 people employed at the City’s Waste and
Recycling Centre and their safety can be at risk when residents improperly
dispose of materials. When choosing where to put waste, the community is asked
to consider the wellbeing of those managing these materials and always dispose
of it in the safest place possible. For those who are unsure of were to dispose
materials, the City’s Waste
Wizard tool can help, providing a look-up tool and listing the best
options for residents.
The landfill has experienced three small fires in the last two weeks, believed to
be started by batteries that were likely put into household black carts. In
addition to being toxic to the soil, batteries can also be a fire risk in the
landfill. Often batteries don’t have enough juice left to provide power to the
item they are intended for but do have enough energy to explode when crushed in
the garbage disposal process.
Improperly disposing batteries can be extremely dangerous for workers
and the community in general. Methane gas released in the landfill can fuel a
fire quickly and continue to burn for long periods of time.
In some cases, residents may not
realize they are disposing of a battery but lithium-ion batteries are found in
many electronic devices, such as laptops, cell phones and power tools.
Batteries should never be put in blue or black carts for pickup.
Instead, they can be dropped off at the Waste and Recycling Centre to be
recycled with other hazardous materials. They can also be dropped off at several
retail locations throughout the city. These locations can be found by searching
“batteries” using the Waste Wizard tool at www.lethbridge.ca/wastewizard.
Gas, Scrap Metal & Glass
The people working at the City’s Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) are
responsible for sorting the items placed in residents blue carts and those
collected at the City’s Recycling Stations. Everyone has a part to play in
ensuring their safety by making sure no dangerous materials end up at the MRF.
The MRF uses heavy machinery and equipment to help sort, process
and bundle recyclables. When dangerous items like canisters of compressed gas,
scrap metal and glass get in the recycling stream, it puts the workers at risk.
All of these items have been seen at the MRF and can cause serious cuts and
burns to those working in the facility.
Again, residents are encouraged to use the Waste Wizard tool to
search up any items they might have questions about or they can call Lethbridge
311 for more information. This important step will help make sure all Waste and
Recycling Centre workers get home safely.
For general inquiries contact:
City of Lethbridge